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Jordan Coffey – Hodgkin Lymphoma Patient Story

Jordan Coffey - Hodgkin lymphoma

Young Stem Cell Transplant Recipient Nears Eight Years Cancer Free

In April 2009, Jordan Coffey was a freshman at Clarion University when he came home for Easter break feeling worn out.

“My mom noticed that I had lost weight at school and she felt something just wasn’t right with me,” Jordan says. “She made an appointment for me for bloodwork. The next morning, I got a call from my doctor to get to the ER right away.”

Jordan went to UPMC Mercy for more tests and a check of his lymph nodes, one of which was very tender. A biopsy of his lymph node showed that Jordan had Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Jordan got into treatment right away and stayed in it throughout the summer. He started chemo in the hospital and it worked well, with only some nausea and fatigue as side effects.

By fall, his treatments were complete, and he went back to school. But by Christmas break 2009, the lymphoma had returned. He took a medical leave from school and Mounzer Agha, MD admitted him to UPMC Shadyside.

Jordan finished another round of chemo and, although he lost his hair, was feeling well.

Jordan's Blood Cancer Returns for the Third Time

But in late summer 2010, the lymphoma returned again. Dr. Agha suggested that Jordan have an autologous stem cell transplant.

It took several pheresis sessions to collect enough of his own stem cells. Then Jordan had a successful stem cell transplant on Sept. 1, 2010.

He stayed in the hospital for 30 days to give his immune system time to recover. When he left, he went to his parents’ home feeling great.

Post-transplant, Jordan saw Dr. Agha monthly for labs, lymph node checks, and regular PET-CT scans. After a year, he was down to quarterly visits.

And in 2015, with five cancer-free years, Dr. Agha pronounced him cured.

Jordon still gets periodic shots of neupogen to beef up his white blood cell count. It's always on the lower-end of normal at his check-ups. He also gets intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) treatment every other month to strengthen his immune system.

Cancer-Free and Feeling Great

Jordan is now 28 years old, has no lifestyle constraints and feels great.

The only remaining sign of his Hodgkin's lymphoma is that he gets colds easily and has had trouble gaining weight. But he works a strenuous job as an equipment operator at the Shell cracker plant and is in the Operating Engineers Union.

Although he’s moved on from his blood cancer, Jordan does think a lot about the time he spent in treatment.

“It still sticks with me,” he says. “Whenever I hear stories about other young people, like James Conner, who had the same diagnosis as me. It was a big thing in my life.”

Despite the hitch in his young life, the care he received at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center helped make the experience easier.

“I can’t even describe the reception I get when I go there, even now,” says Jordan. “I’ve been going there since I was 19. The nurses and people there know my story and are always welcoming. I received nothing but excellent treatment there.”