Bone Marrow Transplant Patient Remains Optimistic

May 6, 2009

May Patient of the Month:Tannia MunozAt just 24 years old, Tannia requires the use of ankle braces and a cane so she can walk. She hopes that one day she'll be able to walk again with the grace of other women her age.During her first semester of law school at Rutgers University, Tannia began having trouble walking. At first, doctors believed her problem was the result of a knee injury. But five months later, in February 2008, she was diagnosed with Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy. CIDP is an autoimmune/neurological illness that attacks the peripheral nerves. There is no known cause of this rare disease.Tannia's declining health leaves her so physically weak that she is unable to work or finish school. Her daily symptoms include weakness in the hands and legs, hand tremors, muscle twitching and pain, numbness, tingling and excessive fatigue. Doctors have tried treating her condition with a variety of medications, but none offer the chance for a meaningful recovery. Tannia's doctors say a bone marrow transplant is her only hope for a second chance at life.Despite her struggles, Tannia remains optimistic. She is currently on a medical leave of absence from law school, but hopes to return after her health is restored. She looks forward to the lifesaving transplant that will allow her to enjoy time with her friends and family. She needs your help.A bone marrow transplant costs more than $300,000. And that's only the beginning. Even with health insurance, Tannia faces significant medical expenses. She will need costly follow-up care and medications, which are as critical to her survival as the transplant itself.Visit our Web site to make a donation to NFT in honor of Tannia Munoz or to help other patients like her.