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Personal Stories

My Name is Marissa Murguia

Hollaine Hopkins

My name is Marissa Murguia and I am 24 years old. When I was 15 I was diagnosed with lupus. But within a year of being diagnosed, I was told by my doctor's that the lupus was a severe case and my kidneys have begun to suffer from it. I was put on high dose of prednisone (among other medications) and begun chemotherapy once a month for the next 2 1/2 years.just when I had begun to give up altogether, my parents and I went to a loop this seminar and learned of experimental stem cell transplants from lupus patients with severe cases. So I researched online and discovered that the best place to have the procedure, with the most experience with lupus patients, was in Chicago. Northwestern Memorial Hospital saved my life. I was in Chicago for two months, and received my new stem cells on November 6, 2003. Once I returned home I felt a sense of hope that I hadn't felt in a long time. My lupus was finally put in remission!!! because I waited so long to get the stem cell transplant, by the time I got home from Chicago my kidneys were too far gone. So on September 10, 2004 I received one of my mom's kidneys.

Everything in my life is going great now I have been working for a year and I am planning on starting school during the winter to become a phlebotomist. Thanks to the stem cell transplant I actually have a future to look forward to. Hopefully stem cells will give other lupus agents the same hope that I have every day now.