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Kevin Weston finds ‘new normal’ after transplant

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Kevin Weston
Kevin Weston and daughter Lelah are back in the Bay Area after Weston's successful cord blood transplant. (Lateefah Simon)

Bay Area journalist Kevin Weston is gaining strength after a successful transplant in July to treat a rare form of blood cancer.

Lateefah Simon, Weston’s wife, tells SFBay Kevin has been slowly recovering after the “miracle” of a cord blood transplant:

“Kevin is healing and so is our family as we get used to this new normal.”

Weston was diagnosed in August 2012 with T-cell prolymphocytic leukemia, or “T-PLL.”

After an unsuccessful search for a matching bone marrow donor, Weston underwent a cord blood transplant, which uses blood from placentae and the umbilical cords of newborns as a source of blood-producing stem cells.

In September, a bone marrow biopsy showed no evidence of disease. Weston’s immune system was also found to be 100-percent donor, with his entire original system replaced with donor cells.

The couple got a scare in October when Weston collapsed from a blood infection. Weston stabilized and continued his recovery, though infections remain a primary risk moving forward.

Weston and Simon lived in Seattle during and after his surgery. The couple and daughters Lelah and Aminah returned to the Bay Area last month to a home in North Oakland stocked up and prepped by #TeamKevin volunteers.

Simon posted to Weston’s GoFundMe page how much the volunteers mean to her and her family:

“I am thankful for you all. You have literally clothed and fed us during the roughest weeks of treatment. You all have helped us purchase crazy amounts of meds and helped with our rent when we could not. You have made it possible for Lelah to live with us back in Oakland.”

If you’re able to help Weston and Simon with the cost of care, medication and day care for toddler Lelah, visit their GoFundMe page to learn more.

Jesse Garnier
Jesse Garnier is the editor and founder of SFBay. A Mission District native, he also teaches journalism as assistant professor at San Francisco State University.

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