Spokane

Cat Davis bracing for second stem cell transplant

Cat Davis bracing for second stem cell transplant

Three years ago Cat Davis was diagnosed with scleroderma, a disease which hardens the body's skin and internal organs. She received a stem cell transplant but soon relapsed. Now she's preparing to go through it again.

Cat's bright smile can light up the room and her warm personality immediately draws you in. Looking at her you might never know every day is a fight for survival.

"We're completely kind of going into it blindsided, even the doctors. This is just completely new territory," she said.

Cat needs a second stem cell transplant but this procedure with donor cells is risky. One in four people do not survive.

"As excited as I am to like hopefully get another chance at life, I know that with that comes extreme struggle and the possibility of death," she said.

Since relapsing after her first stem cell transplant everyday tasks are a struggle. Imagine not being able to brush your teeth, tie your shoes or wash your hair without assistance.

"She will literally turn to stone eventually," Cat's mom Sally Davis said.

It's why Cat says she's willing to risk it all.

"I feel like it's time to fight again, and if that means I'm risking it all, then I really do truly believe that this is the right thing to do," she said.

Sally said the alternative to not receiving the second stem cell transplant is unthinkable.

"Even my own death is not as terrifying as watching a daughter or a child die," Sally said.

But now there's a chance that one of Sally's children could save the other. Cat found out Wednesday she has two brothers who matched as stem cell donors, which is incredible when you consider that 70-percent never have a blood relative that matches.

"It's huge, because, I mean, Cat's been so near death so many times, and if this is the thing that works that's never been done before, maybe she can pave the way for other people," Sally said.

For Cat's brother Jimmy, the news that he was a match meant he was about to be a part of something greater.

"It's awesome. It's great news, It's fantastic. It's a small part of the bigger miracle that we're hoping for for Cat," he said.

So now Cat is keeping her spirits up and preparing for the final rounds of testing to make sure she's healthy enough for the transplant.

"My hopes are for it to be successful, to live through it, and to get my life back for sure this time," she said.


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