Back Home Next

Jim Gambrill


    Palmyra, NJ

1-16-1953 / Class of '88 / Type: IgA /  BMT, reoccurrence and buffy coat infusion / Died 3/8/01

bulletNov 88 - Diagnosed with MM, IGA 5500, plasma 63% of marrow
bullet--- 89 - VAD, interferon, skull radiation.
bulletJan 90 - Hi dose Melphalan, total body radiation.
bullet01 Feb 90 - Received sister's marrow.
bulletDec 93 - Relapse
bulletSep 94 - Begin Melphalan / Prednisone
bulletDec 94 - Add interferon
bulletMar 95 - Stop M/P/I
bulletApr 95 - Receive buffy coat (t-cells from my sister)
bulletJul 95 - Buffy coat zaps myeloma & gives GVHD symptoms
bulletAug 95 - Start Prednisone to reduce GVHD symptoms
bulletJan 96 - Stop Prednisone

A summary of my recent IgA history:

bullet08 Sep 94 - 1460
bullet06 Mar 95 - 1070
bullet08 Jun 95 - 1420
bullet29 Jun 95 - 1260
bullet27 Jul 95 - 645
bullet18 Sep 95 - 281
bullet19 Oct 95 - 283
bullet20 Nov 95 - 331
bullet28 Dec 95 - 407
bullet28 Mar 96 - 606
bullet29 Apr 96 - 489
bullet30 May 96 - 715
bullet27 Jun 96 - 731
bullet29 Jul 96 - 905

In summary, I underwent chemo & radiation in 1989 to prepare for an allogeneic BMT in 1990. Late in 1993 I relapsed, and started some chemo again in 1994. In the end of April / beginning of May 1995, I underwent a buffy coat infusion, the effects of which kicked in about 6 weeks later, precipitating a dramatic drop in my IGA, accompanied by Graft vs Host (GVHD) problems. I took Prednisone for several months to ameliorate these problems, but one of Prednisone's main claims to fame is that it kills lymphocytes. The buffy coat cells are lymphocytes. Thus, the Prednisone treatment may have caused the buffy coat cells to prematurely relinquish their beneficial effect. Nonetheless, the slow and bouncy rise of the IGA makes it appear that some buffy coat activity is still ongoing.

I have begun interferon to test the theory that interferon may spark the buffy coat cells once more into action. I'm starting on a very low dose (1 million units 3 times per week), with the intention of raising it at some unknown time if I don't seem to be responding yet. If interferon does not work, we will try another buffy coat infusion -- with a few less t-cells to hopefully provoke less of a GVHD reaction.

Life is indeed interesting here on the edge of high-tech medicine. One never knows what changes next month will bring.

I'm thinking of composing a little ditty entitled, "Me and My Buffy Coat," to the tune of "Me and My Shadow", but I don't know the words to "Me and My Shadow". Can anybody out there help me?

I'll keep you posted on my progress or lack thereof.

Your Biology Lab Incarnate,



Sadly, we have had to move my uncle Jim's page into "In loving Memory". After suffering for more than a decade from Multiple Myeloma, accompanying physical and mental deterioration and pain, and severe, deleterious side effects from medical-miracle therapies, my uncle passed away in his sleep about 1:00 a.m. on the morning of Thursday, March 8th, 2001. He had been hospitalized with seizures on the night of the 6th. The seizures left him brain-damaged and incoherent. His team of doctors decided not to continue the dialysis program of three-times weekly since renal failure in early fall 2000. Only hours later, the end came to him.

I think my father, his brother-in-law, spoke for all of us when he wrote: "Jim's stoicism in enduring pain beyond imagining and his unfaltering love of living passeth my human understanding. May we all cease to exist with such amazing grace."

I will miss my uncle terribly. He was my hero, the strongest man I have ever met. I don't expect anyone to ever surpass him in that. I don't know how they could.

Jim Gambrill is survived by his wife Cindy and his three Children, Zane, Seth and Sasha

-- Sarah Blackwelder [


Site 2000-2015 Dean Gallea (in loving memory of June Brazil)

Site 1996-1999 June Brazil - Webmaster:
(To email story contributor, see address at top of story)