My name is Brooke. I like sushi, road trips, reality TV, biology, unsweetened iced tea, and cold beaches. I am 23 and sometimes I go to Stanford – I was originally part of the Class of 2017, but then…

I was diagnosed with high-risk (Philadelphia positive) acute myeloid leukemia on June 18, 2015 at age 19. I had a sibling matched allogeneic bone marrow transplant from my brother on September 24, 2015. Since my transplant, I have struggled with severe acute and chronic graft vs. host disease of the gut, skin, eyes, liver, and mouth. I have also gone back to Stanford for my degree, been accepted to medical school via Mount Sinai’s FlexMed program, blogged and published several articles, and done research at the Stanford Cancer Center and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

I care about improving survivorship and quality of life for young adult cancer patients. I also care about conveying the realities of cancer, even if they are uncomfortable. For more, check out my St. Baldrick’s Honored Kid Page or consider donating to/sharing my Young Adult Survivorship/GVHD Fund. You can find me on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook.






17 thoughts on “About

  1. Your blog is wonderful. My daughter has CML (Philadelphia positive) blast phase, diagnosed January 2013. She had stem cell non related Xplant 11/3/15, but has relapsed, has pneumonia and battles sepsis…she is currently in the hospital, constantly sleeps and doesn’t eat. She’s 22 yoa. She doesn’t express her feelings as you have, so it helps me to see the other side. God bless and Thank you!


  2. Hi April! I saw you on the Delete Blood Cancer FB group and have read some of your daughter’s story. It can be really hard to talk about these things. I hope she is on the upswing – so sorry you are all dealing with this.


    1. Thank you for responding! She still has a ways to go, she had a DLI (white cell infusion) on March 2nd. We are hoping for a touch of GVH (wish you could share! 😉) I pray for your recovery daily. Stay strong!! If you would like to text Sarah, my daughter, perhaps she and you could be support for each other. Her number is 386-916-7732 (we live in Florida) God bless!!


  3. Hi Brooke,
    I am also 20 years old, but have Stage 4 Ewings Sarcoma (extremely rare bone cancer). I also blog, and actually found your blog through Truth365! Thanks for sharing your story- I know for myself, keeping up with posting can be tedious! I was in Nursing school when I was diagnosed last spring (also 19, also a sophomore) and totally get the loss part of this journey! If you want, I’m on FB or you can look up my blog, typeonetrio.com! (The title is due to the fact that I have multiple diseases lol). I just actually finished my Stem Cell Transplant and had a lovely run in with VOD. I think we have a bit in common. Anyways! Thanks for your posts! I enjoyed reading them!
    A fellow cancer fighter,


  4. hey brooke,

    you’re amazing, and your story is inspiring. i was there eight years ago with aml as well – although mine wasn’t nearly as difficult as yours. it can be really hard, especially in college (i’m on the east coast, class of ’17 like you, don’t know what something like this would do to me). don’t hesitate to reach out if you ever would like to chat.


  5. Hello Brooke

    Someone shared your story with me after I had shared a story of a boy in Florida who had Philadelphia chromosome leukemia 9 yrs ago. The treatment they pursued was new at the time called Gleevec. I am sure it is now standard for Philadelphia and Stanford has proved to be amazing multiple times in my life but I wanted to share with you in case and you wanted to look into it as an option to consider. Prayers are with you. 🙏🏼🙏🏼


  6. Hi Brooke! Sarah is doing well, the DLI worked!! she is in remission from the leukemia, her BCR/ABL shows no detectable cells. We are SO thankful and she is now fighting a nasty virus (since June!) It’s called HHV6, it’s in everyone’s DNA, and with her compromised immune system, is hard to get rid of 😔 She has had some side effects from the transplant, GVHD of the liver, and eyes…and she also has Addison’s disease now….BUT WE ARE STILL THANKFUL, all of that can be managed. She started nursing school in August, which has been tough, chemo brain is REAL! I pray you are doing as well also, Thank you for reaching out ❤

    PS: As for hurricane Matthew, we escaped with minimal damage, and our power just come back on, woohoo!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Brooke, some of our mutual friends from Stanford and Campolindo shared your blog with me after I found out I had AML. I am also 21 years old and was supposed to be class of ’17 at UCLA (taking a break now). I am now 84 days post transplant. I just wanted to say it’s so empowering to see how far you’ve come with your transplant and how you’re going back to school and getting back with your life! I can’t wait till I make it there!



  8. Hi Brooke,
    I just read your beautiful article in the Stanford alumni magazine! I’m an author and also help out managing the blog for a small Bay Area nonprofit called DiggingDeep.org,a support community for parents of chronically ill kids. Is there any way you’d allow me to republish your Stanford article at our blog? I would be very happy to credit you as the author and direct people back to the original source! I think our readers would really connect with your story. Thanks in advance for your help!
    All The Best,


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