Sen. Carrell to receive stem cell transplant soon

OLYMPIA — Republican state Sen. Mike Carrell, who has a blood condition and has been hospitalized since last month, will receive a stem cell transplant from his brother next week.

In an email sent to constituents this week, Carrell says he started initial treatment on Wednesday at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. He said that the 100-day process begins with low doses of chemotherapy to lower his body’s defenses and help increase his chances that next Tuesday’s procedure will be successful.

Earlier this year, Carrell was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome, also known as pre-leukemia. The chronic disease affects blood-forming stem cells.

Carrell was hospitalized last month after contracting a complicating illness while serving in Olympia, and he has not been back to the Capitol since. Republican leaders have said he would only be called back to the Legislature if his presence is needed for a crucial vote. Lawmakers are nearing the end of the 105-day session, which is set to end on April 28.

Carrell said he’ll first undergo a low dose of full-body radiation, and then within a few hours will be injected with his brother’s stem cells.

“Doctors are hopeful that my brother’s healthy stem cells will march in and take over for the weakened marrow cells in my body,” he wrote.

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