Making a Difference

Mackenzie Boedicker

In April of 2017, I was diagnosed at the age of 23 with AL amyloidosis.

I noticed a lump in the back of my throat that had been increasing in size. I saw an ENT who incorrectly attributed the lump to allergies. A second ENT did a biopsy of the lump and the results indicated that the tissue had characteristics of amyloid. I was referred to a hematologist who performed a bone marrow biopsy and confirmed the diagnosis. For a second opinion, I met with an amyloidosis specialist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.

I spent a total of five weeks at Mayo undergoing treatment, which included an autologous stem cell transplant with high-dose chemotherapy. While these procedures are typically performed on an outpatient basis at Mayo, one of the weeks was spent inpatient due to severe Esophagitis.

At my post-transplant (Day 18) exit appointment, my doctor informed me that I had achieved a complete response to therapy and that there was no evidence of amyloidosis anywhere in my body. These results were confirmed at my “Day 100” follow-up visit. I was officially disease free!

I am currently Day 100+ post-transplant and doing exceedingly well. I feel strong and full of energy. I currently live in Boston and keep busy by studying for the MCAT and preparing to apply to medical school. In addition, I work as a full-time research assistant at Harvard Medical School in the Brugge Lab investigating breast cancer.

Much lies ahead in my journey through life, both on the path to becoming a doctor, and the path to fighting amyloidosis. This disease has shaped my purpose in life. I hope you will join me in the fight by following Mackenzie’s Mission on Facebook.

 

 

 

A Life with hATTR amyloidosis
more
We are all Warriors – AL Amyloidosis
more
Where will this ATTRwt amyloidosis journey take me?
more
AL Amyloidosis Diagnosis
more
Cardiac Amyloidosis Needs to Be on the Decision Tree
more
Man Survives Cardiac Arrest, Benefits from First-Ever Drug for Rare Form of Heart Failure
more
I am Thankful for this Journey
more

Join Us