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Fatima, 19, from Mauritania, celebrated her treatments by naming every bag of life-saving
blood cells she received. Her aunt, Mary, through tears, calls her the “bravest” woman she has ever met.

Fatima has severe aplastic anemia — her bone marrow produced no blood cells. A year ago, Fatima called her aunt and uncle (Americans who live in Vietnam) to explain she was terribly ill and her family “didn’t get it.” They answered the call for help, researched treatments, and Mary traveled with Fatima to Tunisia, Malaysia and Vietnam to seek the care she desperately needed.

A Vietnamese doctor connected Fatima to an NIH research study in the U.S. After her life-saving bone marrow transplant, Friends of Patients at the NIH provided an apartment and special outings to movies and dinner as critical financial and emotional support. Fatima is so grateful trial and support that ultimately helped save her life. “It is really hard for me to find the words to thank the people who helped me who I will never see. It is from all my heart.”

Fatima recently left the NIH and returned to Vietnam to study – possibly medicine – a healthier
young woman with a promising future. Her doctors in Vietnam will monitor her care and send
digital medical updates to her doctors at NIH. She’ll return to NIH yearly for continued care and
participation in the research study.

Congratulations to an amazing and brave young woman!

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The Friends of Patients at the NIH