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Garland ISD Teacher Needs Stem Cell Transplant

Publication: KDFW-TV (FOX, Dallas-Fort Worth)

People can get swabbed to see if they’re a match for a North Texas woman who needs a stem cell transplant this Saturday at an Oak Cliff roller rink.

Shaunise Robinson, 27, is a third grade teacher in Garland ISD and was working on her Ph.D. in education when she got sick in November.

“I have aplastic anemia,” Robinson said. “Basically my bone marrow has stopped working.”

Blood transfusions keep her alive for now.

“She is lacking the very basic machinery we depend on to make these blood cells that we depend on to get through our lives,” said Dr. Gavin Melmed, Texas Oncology.

There is a national search through bethematch.org to find a stem cell donor that genetically matches Shaunise. There are only 600,000 African Americans in the national registry and none are a match.

Dr. Vikas Bhushan will perform the transplant if a donor is found. Unlike other tissue donations, this does not require major invasive surgery.

“It’s devastating for a young woman like her, but having said that, if she gets a good donor for her it’s a good chance she'll get cured you know and eventually have a normal lifestyle,” Bhushan said.

Shaunise's dad is a Dallas police officer. Fellow officers and firefighters are holding an event Saturday at 1 p.m. at Southern Skates in Dallas, where people can be tested to see if they are a match.

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