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David Wilson

Program's skyrocketing growth helps more patients combat blood cancers

David Wilson isn't a bit surprised by the rapid growth of The University of Kansas Cancer Center’s blood and marrow transplant program, which has nearly quadrupled in patient volume since 2007.

In fact, David believes the BMT team’s compassion and commitment to patient care are the reasons for the program’s success – and for his own.

"Through the years and treatment, I've seen my lymphoma turn from what once was considered a death sentence into more of an acute disease -- one that's treatable."

David Wilson

David was 45 when he was diagnosed in 1996 with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Chemotherapy kept his cancer at bay for five years. In 2001, Joseph McGuirk, DO, and Sunil Abhyankar, MD, took charge of his care. By October of 2005, David was in complete remission and back to work full time as senior business product services specialist at DST Output.

“This disease and these doctors have been a big part of my life,” he said. “Through the years and the treatment, I’ve seen my lymphoma turn from what once was considered a death sentence into more of an acute disease – one that’s treatable.”

Through his many visits over the years, David has gotten to know his doctors personally. He’s dubbed Dr. McGuirk “Mr. Clean” for his fastidious attention to hand hygiene and for creating the sterile environment so important for BMT patients.

When Dr. McGuirk and Dr. Abhyankar came on board at The University of Kansas Cancer Center in mid-2007, David came with them.

Since then, much has changed. Thanks to a major gift from Kansas City philanthropist Annette Bloch, a new outpatient BMT facility was built on the top floor of the Richard and Annette Bloch Cancer Care Pavilion at the health system’s Westwood Campus. And the BMT care team has grown from 14 to 48.

“We have the facilities, the support staff and a great deal of expertise – especially from our nurses – to create an entire environment from top to bottom that specializes in the care of blood and marrow transplant patients,” Dr. McGuirk said. “Every member of the team, from physicians to housekeeping, plays a critical role in our patients’ care.”