About two years ago, Demetrio Demitris celebrated his 40th birthday and decided it was time to lose some weight. Before starting on a new diet regimen, he went to his physician to do some blood tests. Unfortunately, the results indicated a problem. He was referred promptly to a hematologist who diagnosed him with acute myeloid leukemia ( AML ), a cancer of the blood and bone marrow.
As a naturally positive, optimistic, and practical person, Demetrio didn’t lose hope upon hearing his diagnosis.
“If it’s fixable, we will fix it”, he said. Demetrio then asked his doctor to explain the treatment options and was told he could receive chemotherapy and/or a bone marrow (stem cell) transplant.
Shortly after his diagnosis, Demetrio began receiving chemotherapy in Cyprus, his home country. But then the doctors decided he also needed a bone marrow transplant. Luckily, his sister was a 100% match donor. Now, he needed to find the best medical center to perform the bone marrow transplant.
Demetrio researched hospitals in the UK, Germany, and Israel. At that point, both a close friend of his, a plastic surgeon, and that friend’s wife, also a physician, recommended that he travel to Sheba Medical Center in Israel for the treatment. Both of these individuals had studied and worked at Sheba for a few years, giving them first-hand experience with the medical facility.
A few months later, following a particularly stressful period in his life, Demetrio did a follow-up blood test that revealed the AML had relapsed. He immediately turned to Prof. Nagler for medical advice, who suggested groundbreaking CAR T-cell therapy offered in Israel at Sheba.
In June 2019, Demetrio returned to Sheba and underwent CAR T-cell therapy, followed by another bone marrow transplant. He reported that the side effects to AML treatments were mild to none. He felt good and optimistic throughout the entire treatment process. After returning home to his normal life, Demetrio was able to engage in all his favorite physical activities, such as fishing and hunting.
“I’m highly satisfied with the treatment I received at Sheba. The staff are the best of the best!” says Demetrio. “Prof. Nagler is an amazing person and doctor, he saved my life and I’m immensely grateful to him. All the nurses who treated me were great, very warm and attentive. Anat and Sima, my medical coordinators who followed me every step of the way, deserve the warmest compliments. They were my aides for every question and need.”