Breckenridge man to undergo transplant |

Breckenridge man to undergo transplant

Caitlin Row
Breckenridge, CO Colorado
Summit Daily/Mark FoxMarty Lessow plays with his 9-year-old golden retriever, Woods, at his home in Breckenridge Monday afternoon. Lessow, who has lived in Breckenridge since 1973, will undergo a blood stem cell transplant in Denver next week as he battles non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

BRECKENRIDGE, Colorado ” Marty Lessow, owner of Marty’s for Kids in Breckenridge, heads to the hospital Friday for a blood stem cell transplant he hopes will cure him of non-Hodgkin lymphoma ” a disease he’s battled for two years.

At Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center, Lessow will undergo three days of light chemo and radiation starting Saturday. After a day of rest, he’ll have the transplant on May 6.

“The new blood will attack and kill the cancer cells,” Lessow said. “It has been done a lot. I’m not the new guy on the block getting this, but I am in a special study about it and that’s pretty cool. The procedure is just like a blood transfusion.”

After the transplant, Lessow will stay in Denver for 100 days to recover under doctor’s supervision

“They don’t put you in this program unless they think you’re going to be OK,” Lessow said. “I’m 100 percent positive that I’m going to be OK. The doctors are the best in the country. I’m ready to go into the hospital, get this transplant and kick ass.”

Lessow was originally sent to the hospital because of heart problems, and doctors discovered his cancer infection. He’s referred to his cancer ordeal as “Marty’s great adventure” and he’s always striving to maintain a positive attitude no matter what.

According to his friend, Leanna Kerr, Lessow has experienced three remissions.

“I have set up a fund at Millennium Bank in Breckenridge and want to get the word out that Marty needs help with his ever-climbing bills,” Kerr said. It’s called The Martin J. Lessow Fund.

Though Lessow has insurance, he has accumulated a stack of bills associated with out-of-pocket costs for his cancer treatment.

“Just go in and tell them you want to make a donation,” Kerr added.

In 1973, a 30-year-old Lessow came to Breckenridge to ski, and he made the mountain town his home. After treatment completion in Denver, he plans to return home in mid-August. And he can’t wait to be back with his friends.

“The amazing thing is the support group I have in Breckenridge,” Lessow said. “I have the greatest support group that anyone could ever have.”

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