Girl who received bone marrow transplant doing wellHEALTH NOTES: Monday marked the two-year anniversary of a special day for 8-year-old Annika Linberg.
By: Compiled by John Lundy, Duluth News Tribune
Monday marked the two-year anniversary of a special day for 8-year-old Annika Linberg.
Nov. 11, 2011, was the day Annika received a bone marrow transplant from little sister Katherine’s cord blood stem cells at University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital.
The Linbergs — dad and mom Kurt and Adrienne and the two girls — lived in Duluth then, although for quite a while, their home was at the Ronald McDonald House in Minneapolis. This past summer they moved to Colorado, where they now live in a suburb of Denver, Adrienne Linberg said in an interview via phone and email.
Annika recently underwent a battery of tests to see if there were any signs the acute promyelocytic leukemia, or APL, that had afflicted her had returned.
“Nothing,” Adrienne Linberg said on Wednesday. “No danger signs that we know of yet. We’re still waiting for the results of one test.”
Moreover, Annika has shown none of the longer-term effects doctors warned could afflict a child who had undergone extensive treatment for leukemia. Her physical development is normal, there is no sign of memory trouble or skin or organ problems, and her reading ability is beyond her grade level, her mom said.
Annika first was diagnosed with APL just after her third birthday. She completed treatment and had been in remission for 15 months when a
relapse was diagnosed in August 2011.
But Annika had a secret weapon this time.
When Katherine was born on June 16, 2010, doctors suggested her cord blood be saved and tested. If it was a match for Annika, the University of Minnesota would store it at no charge.
It was a match, and when Annika’s leukemia returned, the Linbergs agreed to the bone marrow transplant. Tests three months later showed no sign of leukemia.
Annika “understands the magnitude of the battle she fought,” Adrienne Linberg wrote. This fall, she attended the funeral for a girl from her new school who died of leukemia.
“It was through this experience that she learned about how lucky she’d been to make it through her leukemia, relapse and bone marrow transplant,” Adrienne Linberg wrote. “She does also understand that Katherine in a sense saved her life.”
Root out radon
Heating season means radon-testing season, Minnesota health officials say.
In a news release, the Minnesota Department of Health said that more than 40 percent of Minnesota homes have dangerous levels of radon gas, which is the leading environmental cause of cancer deaths.
More than 21,000 lung cancer deaths every year are attributed to radon in the U.S., the news release said.
The health department advocates having every home tested for radon. Although that can be done any time of year, late fall and winter are considered the best times, the news release said. The tests take three to five days, and kits are available at city and county health departments, many hardware stores or directly from radon testing laboratories.
A Minnesota law, taking effect in January, will require radon disclosure and notification during most home sales.
More information is available at health.state.mn.us/radon or at (800) 798-9050.
Ornaments for hospice house
Shoppers buying paper ornaments in the shape of a house at Super One stores are helping raise money for Solvay Hospice House.
In a news release, the Miller-Dwan Foundation said Super One stores in Duluth, Superior, Cloquet and Two Harbors are selling the ornaments for $1 through the end of November. It continues a campaign that has been going for five years and has raised more than $30,000.
The campaign takes place in conjunction with National Hospice Month.
Solvay Hospice House, which is on 9.2 wooded acres on Baylis Street in Duluth, has been open since 2007. Operated by the Essentia Health St. Mary’s Hospice Program, it provides round-the-clock care for hospice patients and their families.
Docs talk cholesterol
“Doctors on Call” will focus on cholesterol problems during this evening’s half-hour call-in program on PBS North, Channels 8.1 and 31.1.
The program, which begins at 7, will be followed by the mental-health call-in program “Speak Your Mind” at 7:30. This week’s topic is kids and divorce.