Compassionate Care Makes the Difference
Regina McGuire puts it very simply - "basically, my bone marrow decided not to work."
The 16-year-old Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk High School sophomore has aplastic anemia, a condition that occurs when your body stops producing enough new blood cells; that results in fatigue and creates a higher risk for infection and uncontrolled bleeding.
Regina has been dealing with these risks since she was diagnosed at age 6 when her parents noticed abnormal brusing on her legs.
Since then, she has been a regular at the Melodies Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders, part of the Bernard & Millie Duker Children's Hospital at Albany Med. Often, those visits require a blood transfusion.
"Sometimes it is a little scary to be a teenager who has such a serious illness," Regina said. "Definitely, other people don't understand it because they're like, 'oh, you're so tough', and I'm like, 'well, I don't really have a choice, you know. I have to be tough.'"
She plays violin, sings and acts and enjoys life thanks to the care she gets at Albany Med.
"They always find a way to kind of put it in perspective and not make it sound too scary," she said. They always explain it to me, not just my parents. That's very helpful."