Nats' Assistant GM asks for help in Leukemia fight

Brian Tinsman
July 22, 2018 - 10:47 pm
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Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

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As the Washington Nationals battle to stay above .500 and pursue the playoffs, Assistant General Manager Doug Harris is in the fight of his life.

Diagnosed with Leukemia in 2015, Harris received a bone marrow transplant in May 2017 that was supposed to provide the cure. But his cancer remained.

Now, the family is hoping for generous donations on its GoFundMe page in order to defray costs on an experimental treatment that will cost the family $400,000.

"The results of this therapy have been extraordinary and it was recommended by one of the highest regarded physicians in the world, Sloan Kettering, that Doug should pursue this treatment," reads his page, set up by his wife, Lisa. "Unfortunately, the treatment is currently in trial research and not available to Doug under the trial guidelines."

The treatment is called CAR-T Cell therapy and is specifically designed for relapse Leukemia patients. Initial results have been encouraging for patients with lower percentages of Leukemia cells in the body, with a significant number of patients surviving past their initial prognosis. There is even confidence that the treatment may one day be considered a first option instead of the last resort.

More than 350 donors responded in the first four days, covering more than 10 percent of his costs. 

"Doug Harris has positively impacted the lives of a countless number of Nationals and baseball prospects over the years through the player development process both on the field and off the field as they grow and progress into young men," Nationals Director of Player Development Mark Scialabba told MASN. "Doug is a role model as a husband and father, and leader of the Nationals organization for me.

"He is an extremely valuable member of the front office and the player development staff."

As news of Harris' situation makes the rounds in the media, inquiring minds are wondering if Nationals ownership might step up to the plate to cover the costs in full.

 

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