Two weeks back, Zach, a Georgia Elementary School student received an umbilical cord blood transplant, in which the stem cell-rich blood of a baby’s umbilical cord was transfused into his body. Stem cells give a patient’s body the ability to make new bone marrow and blood.

The transplant was conducted at Duke University Hospital in Durham, N.C., where Zach and his parents, John and Joanne McCracken, have been since mid-February.
They will likely be there for the next four to six months while Zach’s health improves and the stem cells start to grow inside his body.

In 2003, at age 5, Zach was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia — the most common and most curable type of leukemia in children younger than 15. Zach received chemotherapy treatments, but his cancer returned, which made him a candidate for a umbilical cord blood transplant.

McCracken said the family is hopeful that Zach will eventually be cancer-free.

Information about Zachary McCracken and his recovery is available online at: https://www.gemsvt.org/elementary/zachary.htm

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