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WVU Hospitals Holds Cancer Patients Reunion

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MORGANTOWN -

Over the past 20 years,  West Virginia University hospitals have become one of the best transplant facilities in the nation. This spring, it celebrated its 1000th transplant patient. A few of those patients came together Saturday to share their stories.

"In the blood work they found leukemia," said Becky Benson, a three year leukemia survivor. "They said the only way I had a chance of beating it was through a bone marrow transplant."

Transplant survivors and patients that WVU Hospitals has helped gathered to reunite with their doctors at Lakeview Resort Saturday afternoon.

WVU Hospital has the only transplant program in West Virginia. Patients travel from across the state to receive medical attention.

"We have our staff from the hospital as well as the cancer center as well as patients and their families that come," said Michael Craig, MD, the Medical Director of the Blood and Bone Marrow Transplant Department. "When patients come here to have a transplant, they will be here for several months even to have a stem cell transplant so we get to know them well. We invite them back one so back home doing well and their living there life again."

Benson's battle began when she went to Mon General Hospital with a headache. Once she found out she had leukemia, she looked for places that could help her.

"I called the American Cancer Centers, Cancer Centers of America," said Benson. "I told them my story. And they got back to me and said they would see me but I should stay where I was because this was one of the best cancer centers in the nation."

WVU hospitals does a number of procedures including stem cell and bone marrow transplants.