Take Charge

The Doctors: Veterinarian Dr. Edward Donates Stem Cells to Save His Brother

May 22, 2017

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Sylvan Edward exercised regularly but noticed he was becoming more and more tired. After a trip to the hospital following a near-fainting spell at work, Sylvan received the surprising news that he had acute myeloid leukemia.

"That was a shocker," he said on TV’s "The Doctors."

Sylvan required a stem cell transplant but doctors had difficulty finding a match for him.

That’s when his brother, Dr. Arvid Edward, star of Amazon’s "Pet Doctors of Atlanta" stepped in. Although the brothers were only a 6-out-of-10 match, doctors were hopeful that a closely related donor would give Sylvan a better outcome. The transplant was performed at Moffitt Cancer Center’s Blood and Marrow Transplant and Cellular Immunotherapy Program.

"The stem-cell transplantation procedure is quite simple," explained Dr. Hugo Fernandez, a hematologist at Moffitt. "It’s like a blood transfusion. These cells will circulate around in his body and repopulate the bone marrow. The new immune system will actually come from his brother’s stem cells to help fight the cancer in his body."

Sylvan, who had the transplant a few weeks ago, is improving every day.

"The good news is that it looks like he’s starting to recover. His white count has been going up over the last couple of days," says Dr. Fernandez.

To find out more about how to become a donor, visit BeTheMatch.org.