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Cadet Doing Fine After Undergoing Bone Marrow Transplant

July 6, 1996

SEATTLE (AP) _ When Becky Metz saw the bags of bone marrow that were going to be transplanted into her younger brother’s body, she started to cry.

``I was looking at those bags and I said `This is Brian’s life.′ It’s just bone marrow but it represents Brian’s future,″ she said Saturday at a news conference, less than 10 hours after the procedure was completed at the VA Medical Center here.

Brian Bauman, 22, of Pine City, Minn., was diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia in October, a disease which destroys the body’s ability to produce infection-fighting white blood cells.

A cadet in the Air Force Academy, Bauman put his dreams of a military career and medical school on hold after he was diagnosed.

At a news conference last month, Bauman said he was looking forward to the transplant and was disappointed that he was unable to graduate with his Air Force Academy class this spring.

The potentially lifesaving procedure began early Friday evening, and was done with marrow taken from a donor located in South Korea.

If Bauman’s body takes successfully to the new ``graft,″ he would have a lot more than the five years doctors have given him to live.

``At this point, we continue to forecast an excellent prognosis for him,″ said Dr. William Schubach, chief of the oncology section at the VA Puget Sound Health Care System.

``He had a good night’s rest and he feels well this morning.″

Within 10 days to three weeks, doctors expect to learn whether Bauman’s body has accepted the donor marrow.

Because the new marrow will not function for a while, Bauman will remain in the city to receive blood transfusions to prevent bleeding and infections caused by little or no white blood cells and platelets, Schubach said.

Brian’s father Steve Bauman said his son did well doing the seven-hour transplant.

``Brian has always been a very focused and disciplined individual. This whole ordeal has been a battle Brian never lost sight of,″ he said.

``We just drew from his strength. He’s been the strong one in all of this.″

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