Mary Clare was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in the summer of 2014. Upon diagnosis, Mary Clare was admitted to The University of Chicago Medical Center in serious condition. She was classified as high risk and without treatment she would die from the complications of AML within a matter of weeks. “Just Keep Swimming” was the mantra that kept her focused and positive while she waited to be matched with a stem cell donor. On November 11, 2014, Mary Clare’s life-saving cells arrived from Boston and the transfusion was a success. In just a few days she was able to see a positive change in her blood counts and could return home to her husband and daughter, Twila, faster than anyone had expected.
Mary Clare is now in remission and working full time with young people and the arts. She dedicates much of her time to educating patients and their families on clinical trials, female sexual health and parenting with cancer. Mary Clare believes that “each day is a mitzvah” and fundraising to support research and help others brings meaning to her life and cancer battle.