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Area blood cancer patients can receive treatment closer to home

Amarillo, Texas - A local program is keeping many area blood cancer patients closer to home during their recovery process.

The Amarillo Blood and Marrow Transplant program is now accredited in both their patient stem cell and donor stem cell transplant service programs. Something only obtained by few.

There are only eight in the state of Texas and 100 nationwide who have been accredited by the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy. The Amarillo Blood and Marrow Transplant Program is now one of them.

"As a result of our improvement in the standard of care and also our outcome, the program is now accredited by the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy, which is the highest accreditation organization internationally," Dr. Seah Lim, Director of ABMTP says.

Panhandle residents can now be treated here near their homes with the assurance they will receive the same level of care that they used to have to travel hundred of miles to obtain.

"The accreditation also means that now we are able to get the insurance company agree to allow their clients to be transplanted locally and again to be reassured that they will get the same level of care and outcome," Lim says.

Doctors say having family and a support system is an important part of recovery. Elizabeth McCarter is a leukemia patient of Dr. Lim's. Before coming to the Amarillo program, she had to spend months at a time in Houston, 12 hours away from her home in Elkhart.

"But having it right here in Amarillo, you can get the same care here in the panhandle like you can in a big city. It's wonderful. Like a said two to two and a half hours. I can go home the same day," McCarter says.

She didn't expect there was a option closer to home. Dr. Lim says he hopes more panhandle patients will now chose to stay closer to home.
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