WEEI>On Demand>>D&C: Cody Ray, with Dr. Leslie Lehmann, Director of Clinical Pediatric Stem Cell Transplantation Center at Dana-Farber

D&C: Cody Ray, with Dr. Leslie Lehmann, Director of Clinical Pediatric Stem Cell Transplantation Center at Dana-Farber

Aug 28, 2013|

19-year-old Cody is recovering from a stem cell transplant earlier this year. Though he is a few years into his fight, he graduated from high school this past June. A lover of broadcasting, Cody has been announcing on and off for two years. Dr. Leslie Lehmann joins to talk about treating pediatric patients and stem cell transplants.

Transcript - will not be 100% accurate

We'd like to say hello to Cody ray on my right Cody is nineteen and from wanted to correct him talk correct and on my left doctor Leslie -- when she is the yep pediatric stem cell trance. Plantation center at Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Welcome to both of you thank you know what you're looking at this is an audition you may not recognize this young man that -- you've been at the ballpark you might have heard his voice from time to time. He'd done some in park announcing your Red Sox games how that happen. Well it's always -- and my bucket list of things to do. You know ever since I was little you know growing up watching the baseball games and stuff and I've always been a baseball fan and you know after. You know I was diagnosed. You know back in 2011 to Kenya yup. CML to be exact which is -- type of leukemia. We. Made some phone calls my my mom helped out. My friend's mom -- down and you know they got me and and I was supposed to only announce two innings. That game it was a game in July believers July 27 against the blue jays. And and that keep me -- for the whole game. Yeah so. And -- -- -- right and then they have call me back after that cell. Ever since then you know they say they still passed me. To do. Your best introduction. At winning congress -- and let's that was at Ellsbury leadoff Jolie Harrington. Leading off for the Boston Red Sox Jacoby Ellsbury. Negative broadcasting that I have ever have a sense and I can take a hike that happen. And I will get -- you. Doctor tell me about CML. -- analogy interesting disease it's it's relatively rare in children and becomes much more common in adults. And in some ways it's -- The poster child because everyone who had him well up to about five years ago gave them a transplant to be cured and then frank is currently trade at Harvard for awhile and then it is now in Oregon. Came up with a drug called -- back -- met him which is an oral drug and is. Affected in almost all cases that here now but not all cases to -- him out and should ask him -- to comment about. You know it's like oh -- -- I just have to take a pill grant right they're still subtype that -- -- Cody had that seem to be more aggressive is still he has -- a transplant to be cured. And now he's you know he's in the small of the -- -- for -- transplant. For the uninformed explain this to be like five -- -- what do stem cell is that what it does and why it's beneficial. Well sweetheart that's not what I. How does stem cell we're talking. In Arab world about dramatically extends well you laughing now as he couldn't I know now that it. -- so that they are -- cells that reside in the bone out of everybody and there the granddaddy south and they give rise to all of the cells involved now makes a direct sales like them. And platelets that can be safe from infection can -- the leading separate -- And so for transplant what we do is we have to kill all your stand self. And then replaced with someone else is Cody was likely to find volunteer unrelated donor like the telethon. We rely so much on the kindness of strangers on and so a donor was a match for Cody. And gave his stem cells and we gave Cody chemotherapy and radiation therapy and then replaced his stem cells and that's his immune system went with somebody. If you understand everything is equally under. 88 BI -- made it sound like a bunch of you know it's a whole different vocabulary. That. You know myself and my family ended up learning and we had to learn to understand it. You know because these words. Came into our lives every single day for almost two years and you know they're they're still you know we're still learning new words to this day. So yet how to how to understand it how how does one go about killing one stem cells. He had to get high doses of chemotherapy and or radiation therapy unpleasant and that it's it's not -- can't. And it would be lethal if you didn't and rescue someone with this with the stem -- and somebody else and then how does a concerted. They get luckily so they get taken out either for children. There's two ways to do it but the preferred way for pediatric patients like Cody is it taken out by needle out of the back of the year here. Iliad craft -- but the good. Bump you up and you had general anesthesia for that but they luckily can go in a couple of kids and they circle around bodies they find their way to the mountain house so they don't. That putting them in part is the easiest part putting. How long have you been doing the stock to twenty years so in that twenty years how much progress has been made we talk every year about the childhood leukemia it's an example we give. Listeners viewers who were thinking about donating his what happens when you -- kids with leukemia live. Is that your experience is like -- good -- Well it's it's unbelievable the progress that has been made in my academic career my professional career. And transplants a weird thing we transplant a whole bunch of diseases leukemia lymphoma and and non malignant diseases like sickle cell disease and storage diseases. So where more of a tool than a disease. And so transplant can be used for a bunch of things and the progress in transplant because of that are matching better support match between the donors and recipients. Having more veggies volunteers in the registry and people should all sign up and involved here. And better supportive care getting people through the illness that are so when I started. Cody would there is no way to be sitting here at average -- really he would be hopefully he would be okay that he would be debilitated and at home in. Well but it was a low point of the treatment was a much pain discomfort involved in this whole process for me to stem cell -- and some very pleasant. Probably I had an allergic reaction to one of the chemotherapy. And hang onto it as there's many types of human therapies that. You know that they had to use. You know to kill everything and there was a few I mean I have never been allergic to anything. My whole life and now I have a list of you know a mile long at things and I'm allergic to. But. Actually had coded and you know I went in -- electric shock and they stopped. Breathing and -- -- that was probably the most scariest. Part because. I'm somebody who I don't like to. I don't like to hear what's gonna happen before it happens because you know they have to it but doctors have to tell you. You know what's what's gonna happen right -- record and and stuff. And I try not to listen to that I just trying to you know go by the -- day by day in and you know just take -- one day at a time. And you know I just wasn't expecting that to happen because like I said I've never been allergic to anything. And that was that was probably the lowest point of at all besides throwing up every day. All those fun days so you can -- when you showed an allergic reaction to that been put you in the desensitization. It adopted that that's that is definitely what woke me up yeah. And you know. They were able to switch to an island medicine. It was as easy as just getting it through and I needed gimme shots in my legs. Now it. It definitely was a wake up call are you curious about your donor. Yes. I do not know who he has yet someday I hope to. And their reason that your prevented from doing it -- privacy thing yes well he weakened. I can find out if we both agree in a year after. My transplant. We we can meet. But. You know he has to agree to a 2 but I am I'm very interested because. My eyebrows and now. Black -- My air coming in black. You know where he wasn't black people up around that it was it was dark brown right now black. And my eyebrows and you may be George Clooney yourself you know. Ignoring what would you do with them -- for. What we do. Well it did dang meet him that I average do even if it's a Skype quality that the country. You know he he saved a life you know he he you can save a life if you. You know sign up to be the match. Then there's the other ones who did I -- I don't have any Brothers and sisters and so they can indeed used as a match because I don't have any. My parents got tested they usually not a match. They weren't. And I have a stepbrother he got tested there wasn't a match. You know we had some friends who got tested they -- match. And so we turn to be the match and you know they ended up finding somebody within a few months. They actually found two people and you know they had to choose which one was more fitted for me. If you meet and stick in the Red Sox in the united. Do in life and death and I -- -- -- So you graduate from high school. -- what's what's the what's plan B now. Well I went to a trade school. I took -- carpentry and my plan was when I went. You know. To betrays -- -- carpentry as my. Back up plan like I've always wanted to be and broadcasting and stuff I went to school for broadcasting how to run cameras and editing Booth and stuff like that. And down. So hopefully after this hike in the you know go to go to college and continuing. Production and broadcasting. It's a good week and and and we give a lot of our guests the opportunity to look in the camera and and and whether it's for stem cell donation or whether it's -- Donations to the Jimmy fund for research. In your words tell people why they need to get involved pick up the phone call that. Phone number well. You know. Leave -- wasn't it invented and you know where it went out the money to support that. You know I I was on all. Those -- -- and ace inhibitors. I'm follows oral medicines. Before I had to go into the hospital to have. You know. Real high doses of chemotherapy. And without those. Without those pills without. Donating money like that I wouldn't I wouldn't have made it as far as I did. Until my body got immune to those medicines. I was on those -- likely back. For almost two years. Until I had to going to the hospital when they stopped working. Solemn. Without donating money is a lot of kids like me to act you know that would -- Just wouldn't be here. It wouldn't be here do you feel lucky or unlucky based on your experience. Very lucky there and I'm lucky that I live here in Boston you know around Boston. Because that's the best place. You know in the world and they matched it to do this did you get to make the spring training trip. I didn't you do not like our president it I just gotten out of hospital. Next year next to him in the Canadian mounts they do -- -- announced that's at three days. The tour we'll -- called deal that Cody ray good to meet you. That continued continued success continued good -- and a doctor Alina thank you very much you're paying for sharing your expertise thank you.

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