Rosedale Teen Hunter Haymore Cured Of Sickle Cell Anemia

Optimistic Doctors Call Stunning Case A Medical Milestone

NEW YORK (1010 WINS/ CBS 2) — A 14-year-old Queens girl can now look toward the future.

Hunter Haymore, of Rosedale, has been cured of sickle cell anemia, a disease which affects up to 100,000 people – mostly African-American women — in the United States, thanks to the first successful bone marrow transplant done with a non-related donor.

Hunter, who has dreams of becoming a nurse, was the first person to undergo the procedure at the Cohen Children’s Medical Center in New Hyde Park, bringing hope to other patients with the disease.

“When I first heard I was cured, I was so happy. All I wanted to do was scream ‘I’m cured! I’m cured! I have no more sickle cell! I have no more sickle cell!’” she told CBS 2’s Don Dahler.

Doctors are calling this a “medical milestone.” Sickle cell is a genetic blood disorder carried by one in every 12 African-Americans, and one in 100 Hispanic-Americans.

“It’s characterized clinically by severe episodes of bone pain which is caused by these abnormally shaped red blood cells lodging in small blood vessels within their bones,” Dr. Joel Brochstein said.

Over time, the disease can cause serious complications in vital organs and significantly shorten a patient’s lifespan.

Since the first successful bone marrow transplant for the treatment of sickle cell anemia in 1984, many patients have undergone successful transplantation from compatible siblings, with the latest series reporting an 85-90 percent success rate, doctors said.

Hunter is part of an on-going experiment using the National Bone Marrow Registry to find a match. Her parents were amazed to hear, just a month after the treatment, that Hunter was cured, after 14 long years of monthly blood transfusions and two strokes.

“It’s just like a dream,” Donna Haymore said.

Hunter was admitted to the hospital on Dec. 27 and had the transplant on Jan. 5. She returned home to her family on Jan. 21.

“It seemed like it was forever. And then when the cure came and it was established that she was cured, it seemed like it happened so quick. And it was emotionally overwhelming,” father Eric Berry added.

But unless more minorities become bone marrow donors, Hunter’s story will be the exception, not the rule. There are 8 million people on the national registry, but a fraction of them are minorities.

“It could change a life. It could change a life,” Donna Haymore said.

“I would like to say thank you to the donor. Even though I don’t know who you are, if you’re out there, I’m the one that you donated the bone marrow to. And thank you very much. I appreciate it,” Hunter said.

  • AUMA

    i have a 1year nine months in Kenya Africa with SCD ss type.she has had alot of admissions to hospital and two blood transfussion.I am a single parent and have gone through alot to manage the condition.Iam appealing for anyone who can help my baby get this transplant,she doesent have a sibling,she is my only child,please help.

  • ROSE

    i have a 1year nine months in Kenya Africa with SCD ss type.she has had alot of admissions to hospital and two blood transfussion.I am a single parent and have gone through alot to manage the condition.Iam appealing for anyone who can help my baby get this transplant,she doesent have a sibling,she is my only child,please help.

  • Tirzah Franklin

    Your story is truly uplifting. I have a 7 year old that is about to go through this process and would love to talk to you and your family about the process. Please contact me.

    • Donna Haymore

      Hi…we would love to talk with you about Hunter’s procedure…just email me.

  • Lisa

    My name is LISA and I am a Canadain Citizen, I was diagnosed with Thallassemia in New York Hospital in 2010. I am 46 years of age. Canada does not test babies at birth for this horrific desease. CANADA has one clinic in Toronto. If you are 18 years old or older they will not help you.
    I now am in End stage renal failure and I have Mesenteric Cancer.
    Because I was diagnosed in the United staes the Doctors in Canada refuse to acknowledge the diagnosis. The health Minister in Alberta where I live told me
    “It is the Docotrs discretion on whether he will help you or not” “I was also told by the medical Director “it is not manditory that any Doctors follow the HIPPOCRATIC OATH” God bless HUNTER and others who live. please pray for those of us who won’t.

    • zalie

      my heart goes out to you, lisa. may you get access to available treatments and affirmation that you are being heard and cared for.

  • Molly

    Hunter, I don’t know if you remember me- but my name’s Molly. I went to the same hospital as you. We spent a lot of time together in Montauk one year. I won’t put my last name here (for privacy’s sake), but I just wanted to say that I stumbled upon this article and I’m SO happy for you! My dad sometimes sees your dad in the city. I always remember all the fun we had in Montauk, cheesy as it sounds… I hope things keep going well. Best of luck! <333333333333 =)

    • Donna

      Hi Molly,

      Thanks for commenting here…sorry we are just getting back to you…we remember you guys as well…We look forward to seeing you guys again soon.

  • Raquel Newell

    God Bless you Hunter Haymore! I have a 3 year old son named Hunter.. Hunter Newell. and he has Sickle Cell Disease SS, the most severe form. But through the grace of God he has never had a pain crisis. He has had two blood transfusions because of viral infections and bad case of RSV from daycare. Otherwise happy and healthy, Thanks be to God! We have a hematologist at NY Presbyterian in NYC. They are good, but I wonder if Cohens in Queens has more to offer? I try my best to do the Organic, Homeopathy route with my son.. He drinks his soy milk, and I try to keep him away from salty foods. He has had all his immunizations and for the most part he is a truly happy child. My husband and I are blessed to have him and hope that a cure other than a transplant is around the corner!

  • Tjoy

    Im so happy to hear this story, its great that u dont have to suffer from sickle cell anymore. However as a young lady living and fighting everyday with sickle cell im just wondering what type of sickle cell u had? I have ss and just last year alone was in the hospital way over 50+ times and this is just from jan to june last year. I did know about the transplant u had done, an know ppl who had it done and has died from complications of sickle cell. So I cant say that its a cure for everyone just yet, since it would need to work for every patient. Im very happy for u and others who have had this done and r cured from sickle cell and im just thankful to god that u dont have to deal with it anymore! I think that using a donor non related is an awesome idea and I know that the docs I have r working on a cure for us all so again im thankful that u r feeling better an better each day I hope! So just hang in there and live it up as much as u can!!! O and please dont take to heart my opinion I just wanted u to know that im happy u r cured and I know there will b a cure that will wipe this disease clean away and I cant wait!!!!!! Thank u god for the blessings we all have waiting! be blessed and stay strong! <3

    • Kenyetta Agar

      I am so happy to hear about the cure from a non-related donor!!!!! My daughter goes to the same hospital and goes for transfusions every three weeks to prevent stroke and she is only six years old…. I give my heart to all the families that suffer from this disease and if we get enough donors than maybe we can save a lot more lives!!!! I just don’t want to do it because of my daughter but for all the sick children out there!!!! I would like to thank the Haymore family for taking such a serious risk and opening eyes and raising hope for others like myself….. Thank you so much and God bless <3!!!!!!!

  • Tyrone Haymore Robbins, IL USA

    Praise God and for this historic first in medicine. Donna Haymore is my first cousin
    and she is the mother of Hunter A. Haymore who has just made medical history. We
    the entire Haymore family give praise to God and the Medical Doctors who made the
    medical history break through. Thanks be to God. Now Hunter Haymore can have a
    future that all young people deserve to have.

    • Shirley M. Howard, Robbins, IL.

      Glory to God for this medical advancement. I am a friend of Tyrone Haymore and when he told me this wonderful news I could only
      thank God because I knew my family would welcome this news. My 16 year old . granddaughter was born with Sickle Cell Disease.

  • Queenette Chinonso Anyadoh

    I’m so happy for her, I wish my brother could have the opportunity to undergo this transplant, he is a sickle cell patient, his name is Michael Ikechukwu Anyadoh and he is 12 years old. He is the same person that Gilbert Anyadoh was referring to in his comment below, right now as I speak, he is in pains. Please I would be very grateful if anyone could be of assistance. God bless.

    • Donna Haymore

      Hi Queenette,

      The hospital where my daughter had her transplant is the Cohen’s Children’s Hospital in NYC…you can contact them at 718-470-3470…I hope this helps…good luck.

  • Tee

    I have a 20 year old daughter who suffer from Sickle Cell and it’s been a tough road..We live in VA, and she’s all in college to become a nurse. I have a 47 year sister in New Jersey who as well suffers as well. I wouls want nothing more than to end the pain for them. My heart goes out to all that suffer. I read this story to my daughter..This would be a Blessing I will stay on this link if anyone can help us.

    • Donna Haymore

      Hi Tee,

      I’m sorry to hear that your daughter is suffering…I know all too well how it feels for a parent to watch their child in pain and you can’t do anything about it…

      You can contact the hospital that did the transplant for my daughter and find out if the treatment is available for your daughter…call them at 718-470-3470…Good Luck!

  • Gilbert Anyadoh

    My son needs bone marrow transplant because he is suffering from Sickle Cell Anemia. He is 12 years of age. Can anybody help me?

  • Gilbert C. Anyadoh

    My son needs bone marrow transplant because he is suffering from sickle cell anemia. He is 12 years of age. I need help to save him, please. Can anybody assist me.

  • Michelle Bless Clarke

    Wow!!! Hunter I am glad that you were bless to have a chance to live a normal life… I have an older sister and nephew who have Sickle Cell Anemia as well, and I never knew that this painful disease could be cured. Learning all of this now have me thinking about being a donor for this awful disease. This is such an inspirational story, I have to let my sister read about this special and bless child…

  • Shaneice Wright

    hey hunter i miss you so much. cant wait 4 u to come back to school. :)

  • Quacian

    I have sickle cell anemia too SS. How can I get in touch with this doctor?

    • Donna Haymore

      Quacian, Please contact The Cohen’s Children’s Hospital here in NYC, 718-470-3470…they may be able to help you…

  • Marsha C

    I’m overwhemled to hear such fabulous news. I’m beyond happy for you Hunter!! I know all too well the complications of being sick and having the hospital as a second home. I also have Sickle Cell Anemia but I’ve had better days than worst. I’m 32 and have lived with this battle for a long time but eat right, excersise and live well. I wish you all the best honey!!

  • Hunter A Haymore

    Thank You All my friends and family for all your support.. i love all of you guys.. I miss you and cant wait to see you again… =) miss you… love you…


    • Nathalie

      You are truly blessed and I wish you all the best. Cherish every moment. My six year old son has Sickle Cell and I hope that he can one day be cured. Congratulations! You deserve it!

  • Mista Mook E

    “@ George Okenyehike ” I never knew that thing was curable. ” – thats so rude of you and disrespectful Sickle Cell Disease is not a thing. Come on now really what what that makes people with Sickle Cell feel like, Yet alone what would you call them? ~ Like Myself

    • George Okenyehike

      Hey man, what’s up? Why are you unnecessarily offended. We all know that ‘thing’ as a word is a way of representing a known concept. you can pretty well tekll that I did not use that choice of word sarcastically. You just don’t have any reason to pick offense. i think you should go get a life or channel your anger properly, whatever it is. Well if you’re SS, my sympathy. But you should hope to be in her shoes rather than making fuss over nothing. Pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeee.

  • Gilbert C. Anyadoh

    Gilbert C. Anyadoh

    Correction please.
    Congratulations Hunter Haymore of Rosedale. You are blessed. I wish my son Michael can be as lucky as you are. He is 12 and even as I am writing he is in pains. He is a Sickler.

  • Gilbert C. Anyadoh

    Congratulations Rosedale. You are blessed. I wish my son Michael can be as lucky as you are. He is 12 and even as I am writing he is in pains. He is a Sickler.

    • Donna Haymore

      If you live in the NYC area, please contact the Cohen’s Children’s Hospital in Queens..718-470-3470

      They can help…

  • Marriellen A. Gittens

    CONGRADUTATONS HUNTER!!!!! I have watched this very VERY BRAVE & STRONG young lady live with her problem making every day count. She deserves every bit of success she receives. I told one of my co workers who has sickle cell and her brother to follow Hunter’s story. I has been a pleasure to follow her story on her mom’s bolg & now Mini Me’s blog. God Bless & Good Luck to 1 deserving daughter & 2 dedicated parents

    MAG Marriellen A. Gittens

  • Moni

    We are so happy for her! Fantastic news indeed!

  • OC Producer

    The person who thought of the way to do this should be compensated significantly,
    I guess cause it was not you who made the discovery, you say oh well…

    The medical industry most likely wasted billions trying to do what this person’s ingenuity created, this person should be encouraged to continue creative process,
    There’s good and fairness in our world.

    I suggest contacting several public access television studios and producers for coverage, may be even Oprah!

  • Cee Tann

    since being a nurse is something you want in life go for it. you can do anything you put ur mind to. i know you’ll make a good nurse to, go for it let nothing stop you from ur goals!! best of luck

  • cynthia tannis

    i guess i’m behind the times, i didn’t know that people were getting help for this illness for so long, since the 80’s. but regardless of when people get the help they need, the most important thing is that there’s help out there that those who need it,are now able to get it. god bless you my dear, i think you are a brave young lady for getting the help you definitely need. i hope your future will be full of all that you want from it. life is so short so again bless you my dear, so make the most of all thats out there for you. good luck with your endeavores. god loves you.

  • Aretha

    Aretha (Alexus mom) AMEN!!! AMEN!!! AMEN!!! GOD IS SO AMAZING!!! GOD CAN CURE!!!!! HE IS GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! TO GOD BE THE GLORY FOR ALL THAT HE HAS DONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Renee Adams

    I am happy for this little girl….however what they fail to mention is how long she was on the waiting list,how many times she had been previously admitted into the hospital before hand for them to even consider placing her on the list. Or the fact that she most likely has SS not SC(which they consider a milder version of the disease, because SC patients don’t get “admitted” at least 2-5 times a year) I don’t want to take anything away from this family but I have been fighting everyday for almost 6 years for my child and only just got her on the drug hydrea. Thanks to the doctors at St. Josephs Hospital, if not for them I would still be taking trips back and forth to Morristown Valerie Center. Good Luck Hunter…your parents now have been given a better quality of life. I only wish this were the case for more patients like you.

    • Donna

      Hi Renee,

      I will try to answer your questions here and I hope it helps someone…there is no waiting list for transplantation. You may have to wait until a match is found for you. The transplant is being done as part of a trial…If you meet the requirements of the trial…you can take part. But, you will need to be seen at a hospital that is taking part in the trial…Not all hospitals participate…My daughter had her transplant done at Cohen’s Children’s Hospital here in NYC. My daughter is 14 and she has she suffered two strokes. Since receiving monthly blood transfusions my daughter was rarely admitted to the hospital. The problem with making transplant more available is the need for more bone marrow donors…You may want a transplant…but, you have to find a match first. It is the only thing stopping someone from being cured. We need more people to sign up to donate bone marrow and we will have more success stories like my daughter.

  • Nana

    God bless. Hunter and family God is great all the time. May Hunter’s future be as bright and happy as today is for her and her family

  • Alexus

    Hey Hunter, I am happy you went through the procedure and came out stronger. I miss you A LOT Big Sis. I can’t wait for you to come back to school. I kept your seat warm.

    • Hunter A Haymore

      i cant wait until i get back to school either… i miss every1 cant wait to see yah..=) ill be back soon..

  • diane

    How about a big thank you for the person who developed the procedure and the doctors who performed it. I wish Hunter all the best in her future.

  • Burrell Folk

    Hi Hunter i miss u and u rock

    • Hunter A Haymore

      Hi.. thank you…<3

  • nicole quirke

    you rock hunter
    keep on fighting

    • Hunter A Haymore

      Thank You
      and I will…=)

  • Lizzie

    Hunter you rock

    • Hunter A Haymore

      Thanks.. Lizzie

  • Kate

    Congratulations, Hunter! You are a beautiful girl with a bright future ahead of you. So happy for your successful treatment!

    • Hunter A Haymore

      THANK U Kate..! Thank You.. I’m happy also, not just happy, I’m excited…=D

  • Denise Bowen

    That is my beautiful niece. I’m sooo happy. I love her very much..

    • Chantel Chambers

      I am beyond happy! This is great, GOD bless!

    • Hunter A Haymore

      Aaaww…. I love you too Denise. <3

  • Derrick Peeples

    I know the person who came up with the idea to do this proceedure. Doctors wont pay him because he used there medical equipment, to do this. So if someone needs a good story to write, email me. He could be the next billionare over night. My friend cured his daughter from a bone marrow treatment he thought of, and hasn’t recieved any reward, but doctors are getting paid all the time. Someone help me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • KPMc

      He cured his (or your friends… not sure who you are referring to) daughter and has now helped many people and hopefully countless others in the future. I’d say he already got his reward and shouldn’t worry about becoming a billionaire.

      If money was his motivation… oh well… but if helping people was his concern he’s already a winner so don’t fret too much.

      • Lizette Salazar

        Dr. Brochstein, the same doctor that cured Hunter cured my daughter Amanda Salazar. The only difference was that he did it at Hackensack Medical Center in Hackensack, NJ. Amanda’s transplant was done August 6, 2009, was a non related umbillical cord stem transplant and it was a success. Thanks to him today my daughter is Sickle Cell free. Money is not his motivation he has helped many children with Sickle Cell and other vlood disorders.

  • Vanna

    I have a nephew w/ sickle cell and I didn’t know it was curable (yet) either. I knew there was research being done — but a cure! Oh, thank God!

  • Susan

    Question: does she now have to taken anti-rejection medications because of the transplant?

    • donna haymore

      Yes, she will take anti-rejection drugs for 6 months…

    • Hunter A Haymore

      Yes, I have to take plenty anti-rejection meds.. But, I only have to take them for 6 month… And they go down on the dosage depending on how good my levels are..

  • George Okenyehike

    wow!!!!!!! What a medical wonder! Actually, forgive my ignorance, I never knew that thing was curable. here in nigeria, we have lots of patients fated to pass out oneday. Good for her. Wish we had such transplants in Nigeria.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Giving Tuesday
Charles Osgood Event

Listen Live