Morning Medical Update Monday Sons Saves Father

Media Resources

Jill Chadwick

News Director

Office: (913) 588-5013

Cell: (913) 223-3974


Key points from today’s guests:

Ray Rainey, received bone marrow transplant for leukemia

  • Ray is a hard worker. He worked two jobs, plus did some side jobs to help others. So when he was feeling fatigued, he and his wife chalked that up to being very active.
  • But about a year ago when he went to donate blood, he was told that he couldn’t donate blood and that he should have his blood further checked out by a doctor.
  • When he did, they discovered leukemia and he eventually went to The University of Kansas Cancer Center.
  • He needed a bone marrow transplant and that required a donor.
  • More than 200 days after the transplant, he is doing well.
  • He credits his faith and his family for getting through this.

Micah Rainey, Ray’s son and bone marrow donor

  • With no other matches for Ray in the family, Micah was tested and he was a match.
  • As a high school student, he was worried about how being a donor would affect his school activities like academics, band, and football, but saving his dad’s life was the most important.
  • Micah’s recovery after the bone marrow transplant was pretty quick. He felt tired for a few days, but was able to get back to regular action shortly.
  • His teammates and coaches were very supportive of him.

LeCheryl Rainey, Ray’s wife

  • She was shocked to learn about the diagnosis because they went from her birthday party celebration to a cancer diagnosis.
  • She knew Ray needed a bone marrow donor, but was concerned that if it were her son, she would have two family members in the hospital at the same time.
  • Once she learned more about the process, she felt more comfortable and was really proud of Micah for donating and for her other son for the extra support.
  • She encourages others to learn more and to be a donor.

Dr. Muhammad Mushtaq, hematologist & medical oncologist, The University of Kansas Cancer Center

  • We are privileged to have an excellent blood cancer and bone marrow transplant program at The University of Kansas Cancer Center – an excellent team of doctors, nurses, pharmacists, researchers.
  • We are the only leukemia center in the region, a member of National Comprehensive Cancer Network.
  • Ray had a very specific type of leukemia that could only be treated at a specialized center like ours.
  • Catching that blood abnormality when he tried to donate blood helped save his life.
  • The plan for Ray was a bone marrow transplant, but we had to find a match.
  • Ray is African-American and African-Americans have only a 29 percent chance of finding a donor on the national registry, compared to a 79 percent chance for Caucasians.
  • Go to the national bone marrow donor program website to register.
  • Blood cancer and blood disorders are very curable diseases, but the missing pieces are donors.

Tuesday, May 14 at 8 a.m. is the next Morning Medical Update.

We meet a man who was unable to escape his family history of skin cancer. Learn why he needed surgery more than a decade after his diagnosis. Plus, doctors discuss how they keep tabs on where the cancer can spread.

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