HYDE PARK — A leukemia patient has donated $3.5 million to name her University of Chicago doctor an endowed professor.
Dr. Wendy Stock has been named the first holder of the Anjuli Seth Nayak professorship in leukemia after providing Anjuli Nayak with several experimental treatments for the cancer that usually begins in the bone marrow and blood.
"When I came to her, I was totally broken with the diagnosis," said Nayak, who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic lymphoma in 2010. "The hope that was instilled in me by Dr. Stock was immeasurable. She walked the journey with me. She shared my journey with leukemia as her own. When a doctor does that for you, it's pretty amazing."
The 60-year-old allergist from Bloomington received a molecularly targeted treatment for her cancer after tests by Stock revealed a specific genetic anomaly in her chromosomes. Nayak also received stem-cell treatment after her cancer returned after the first rounds of treatment.
Nayak, who retired from Sneeze, Wheeze and Itch Associates in 2013, has also written a memoir about the experience called "Plucked from a Mango Tree: An Indian Woman's Journey Across the Ocean, through Cancer and to Freedom.”
She is also donating proceeds from the book to the university hospital.
“I am tremendously honored to receive this wonderful acknowledgement of our work in the leukemia program at the University of Chicago,” Stock said. "It is a special privilege to receive this gift from one of my patients, Dr. Nayak, whose grace, dignity, intelligence and optimism reflects the spirit of our patients and reminds me of the many reasons that I chose this fascinating, challenging and rewarding area of medicine.”
Stock’s new appointment is effective immediately.
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