– Jay Bouvier, blood and stem cell recipient
In 2005, when he was 27, Jay’s world was rocked. Despite an active life, he noticed a pain in his groin and assumed he’d been injured. He visited a clinic, then had to wait two months to see his family doctor.
While he waited, new symptoms set in, including night sweats. He started sleeping in ski clothes to stay warm. When he finally saw his doctor, he noticed abnormal lumps in Jay’s abdomen. He sent him for a CT scan and, a few days later, Jay got more bad news: the exam had shown an enlarged lymph node and his doctor suspected lymphoma, a type of cancer.
A few days later, he received the results of his biopsy, which confirmed the presence of an aggressive form of stage four, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, a form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL). He started chemotherapy the following week.
“ Today, Jay Bouvier wants to share his story to give hope to others living through a similar situation! ”
It was a serious operation, and Jay spent 38 days in the hospital – the hardest part of the whole ordeal, he says. He was placed in a secure room and any visitors needed to wear protective equipment to see him, since his immune system was non-existent. Essentially, his body was no longer producing enough blood cells and he couldn’t muster the energy even to drink a glass of water. To survive, he needed blood transfusions every three days.
At the end of the 14th day, Jay started to see a light at the end of the tunnel. He got promising results that showed that the stem cells he got from his brother were taking hold in his bone marrow.
In February 2007, Jay got the good news that the stem cell transplant had been a success, and he was in remission. In October 2012, another wonderful thing happened: he became a father to twins, despite being told he would be sterile, thanks to in vitro fertilization.