Adults' Stories

Mary

Mary McIndoe, 54, acute promyelocytic leukemia survivor

Mary McIndoe was in the right place, at the right time.

On July 1, 2011 Mary, 54, was admitted to the hospital because of fatigue and bleeding. Diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL), she was put into immediate treatment with Dr. Anand Jillella, despite the Fourth of July weekend.

“If Dr. Jillella hadn’t been here and been doing that study about the importance of quick treatment of the disease, I’m convinced I would not have survived,” says Mary. “I have no doubt that he saved my life.”

The study on early treatment on APL is due in part to a $1.67 million, five-year grant to the Georgia Cancer Center for the implementation of a new protocol to treat this leukemia. Dr. Jillella has been involved in APL clinical trials for twenty years.

“I can’t tell how much I’m in awe of his persistence,” says Mary, smiling. “That’s his big passion and you can see in him that he really cares about his patients.”

“There’s been nobody that has not treated me with the greatest respect, care and dignity,” says Mary of the Cancer Center staff. “So I want to do something for the Cancer community, because the Cancer Center saved me.”

“I like to sew, so I think I’m going to start making these pillows that go over your seatbelt when you have a chemo port,” she says. “Because in my mind, there couldn’t be a better place in the world than this Cancer Center.”

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