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Honored Kid Markel Carras Age 22

Markel Carras's Photo
Colonie, NY, US
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)
Date of Diagnosis
October 2013
No evidence of disease (NED)
Treated At
Albany Medical Center
Strong Memorial Hospital


I may not be there yet but I am closer than yesterday.

Markel was attending college at SUNY Canton and started to feel ill, out of breath and tired. Always an athlete she wondered if it was due to freshman poor diet and not getting enough exercise. She visited the doctor on campus who suggested blood work. Within 2 hours the doctor called us at home and said that Markel needed to get to the hospital immediately. She arranged for intake at Albany Medical Center in the pediatric unit and we got her there by 3 AM that morning, October 23, 2013. Her white count was 500 and her kidneys were starting to fail. The diagnosis was Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia –ALL.

Within 1 day she was placed on kidney dialysis as it was not safe enough to start chemo. A few days later it was determined from a bone marrow biopsy that she was also Philadelphia Chromosome positive. This makes the recovery more complicated.

There have been several roadmaps completed including various chemo treatments, spinal taps and bone marrow biopsies. Some are in-patient and some in the hospital clinic and a few at home. There is a chemo drug called Tasigna that is taken daily to combat the chromosome problem. 

In June of 2015 Markel relapsed and in October of 2015 she had a bone marrow transplant. She spent close to 3 months at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, NY. Her unknown donor was a 19 year old female with the same blood type and was a 10 out of 10 match. Markel is in remission and cancer free. It will take a year of healing but hope and faith remain strong.

All in all it has been a huge surprise and scary journey however, if there is ever a person that will overcome this obstacle it is Markel. She has always had a special light about her and gift to give love and create happiness in her wake. This will not consume her or defeat her. There is still far too much joy that she still needs to spread.

Markel has true faith and will tell you - don’t quit before your miracle.
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