A six-year-old Bend girl may be cured of her rare blood disease after doctors performed what is believed to be the first bone marrow transplant of its kind in the world.
Alicia Woolhiser suffered from Glanzmann´s thrombasthenia, an extremely rare genetic disorder that causes excessive and potentially life-threatening bleeding.
But Oregon Health Sciences University doctors in Portland were able to transplant bone marrow from an unrelated donor that appears to have cured the little girl.
Normally, it takes an almost perfectly matched donor from the patient´s family to be successful. But in this case, the bone marrow came from a 37-year-old man with no relation to Alicia.
The volunteer was not identified to the family or Alicia´s doctors, but they say they´re very grateful that the little girl can look forward to first grade in Bend this fall without worrying about the chances of dying from something like a simple nose bleed.