Behind the Breakthroughs
The Your Stories Podcast

Hear candid conversations between people conquering cancer – patients, their family and friends, and doctors and researchers working to help us all.

Linda and Marissa
Behind the Breakthroughs
Linda Zanetti Faces a Long and Difficult Battle with Leukemia
Linda Zanetti intended to spend her retirement traveling and reaping the rewards of her hard work. Cancer had other plans. She found out she had leukemia and spent long stretches of time in the hospital and at home for treatment and recovery.

Leukemia Treatment and Lots of Complications

Linda had just retired from teaching and was taking a trip with her husband to North Dakota. While horseback riding, she fainted and realized something was seriously wrong. When she returned home from her trip, she went to the hospital and had a bunch of tests. They told her she had leukemia. 

Right away, Linda started chemo and experienced several complications, including a fever that wouldn’t go away. She also had to have intestinal surgery after her doctors discovered she had a perforated colon. Linda recovered from surgery and started to regain her strength. Unfortunately, that was just phase one. 

Looking for a Bone Marrow Donor

Linda needed a bone marrow transplant to prevent her cancer from recurring. The doctor performing the transplant told her she was unique and they were having trouble finding a match. It turns out, her daughter, Marissa, could be her donor. 

After the transplant, Linda had to remain in her home for a year while her immune system recovered from treatment. “You can’t go to the movies. You can’t go to any public places where other people will be,” she says. She’s now in remission and looking forward to traveling again. 

Behind the Breakthroughs
Coming to Terms with a Cancer Diagnosis

Linda talks to her daughter, Marissa Zanetti-Crume, about what it was like to be diagnosed with leukemia and how her daughter’s sacrifice helped her became a conqueror. 

I can't talk about the future. I need to be in the present. I'm going to make sure I enjoy this day and take advantage of this day.
Linda Zanetti, Leukemia Conqueror