Save the Cord Foundation recently sat down to speak with Diane Paradise who beat cancer thanks to a cord blood transplant. In this interview, Diane tells us about her long battle with Hodgkins Lymphoma and how close she came to dying. To see her now, you would never know that she had ever been sick.
Diane has a wonderfully infectious personality. When you meet her, you immediately smile. She is positive in every way but it is not until you hear Diane tell her story that you realize how special (and lucky) she is.
She was 24 when initially diagnosed with Nodular lymphocyte predominant Hodgkin disease. Her life changed in an instant. A small lump under her arm turned into non-stop chemo and hospital visits, cycles of improvement only to be diagnosed again with cancer, treatments which became less and less effective. . .
Throughout the years, Diane explored new treatments, new doctors and challenged the predictions regarding her chances to conquer this horrible disease. She never gave up. She new her best chance was herself.
It was her determination that led her to the specialists at Johns Hopkins. She was invited to participate in a clinical trial and then randomly selected to receive a cord blood transplant. After much research of her own, Diane decided to go forward with her participation in the study. It was a decision that would ultimately save her life.
She received a double cord blood stem cell transplant on December 3rd, 2013. The cords come from donors who she will never meet. She knows one of the cords came from a little girl born on July 21, 2011. Just think. . . she is about to turn 6 and has already saved someone’s life!
In this short interview with Diane, we talk to her about life before and after her cord blood transplant. She reminds of how she is still trying to get used to being “cancer-free” because for years cancer was all she knew. She became one with it. Today, she is proud to say that she has been officially “released from Oncology” and no longer lives in fear.
Diane has one message to those who are expecting a baby. . . “Save the Cord!”
We wish to thank Diane Paradise
for taking the time to share her story with us at
Save the Cord Foundation.
Learn more about our on-going series “# WeCanICan : Beat Cancer with Cord Blood” and register to be a part of our Parents community. We are committed to cord blood education for parents and the medical community worldwide. Show your support by sharing this information with others, especially expectant parents.