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Apple observers noticed that CEO Steve Jobs' health dramatically decreased in 2008. Mr. Jobs reportedly has received a liver transplant and is currently recovering, eagerly awaiting a return to Apple at the month's end.  (Source: WSJ)
Apple's CEO and cofounder hopes to put his health problems behind him

Founding one of tech industry's biggest players -- Apple -- and personally turning the company around in the late nineties was nothing compared to the challenge that Apple CEO Steve Jobs faced in 2004.  Battling a rare and deadly form of pancreatic cancer, Mr. Jobs recovered thanks to surgery and reassumed his leadership role at the company, integrally helping to conceive, develop and release hit products such as the iPhone and MacBook Air.

Last year, though, many observers took note that Mr. Jobs looked sickly at public appearances.  Sure enough, in January of this year he took medical leave, announcing he would be gone from Apple on medical leave until the end of June.  In his absence Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook took over many of the day to day duties.

Now details of Mr. Jobs' medical battle, veiled in secrecy, have at last emerged.  According to a report by the Wall Street Journal Mr. Jobs received a liver transplant in Tennessee two months ago.  Mr. Jobs had earlier this year had relocated from California to Tennessee, a state known for having a shorter waiting list for organ transplants.  At the time Bloomberg had reported that Mr. Jobs was applying for a liver transplant.

Apple spokespeople contacted by the WSJ to seek confirmation of the sourced reports refused to comment, merely reiterating that Apple "continues to look forward to returning at the end of June, and there's nothing further to say."  According to the WSJ report, COO Cook may take over additional roles to help Mr. Jobs during his recovery.

Earlier this year it was discovered that Mr. Jobs was receiving hormone therapy.  Reportedly he was unable to digest food properly and receive nutrients.  The liver is an integral part of hormone production, and also produces bile, needed for digestion.  The liver is very sensitive to toxins, and can be damaged by chemotherapy, which Mr. Jobs likely received during his cancer treatment.

Liver transplant recipients have a 58 percent chance of surviving 15 years.  Liver transplants have been performed since 1967; the liver was the second organ to be successfully transplanted, with the kidneys being the first.

Mr. Jobs is currently 54.  Apple fans are eagerly awaiting his return, as he has always pushed the company and given it a creative spark.  Apple released its latest hot offering -- the iPhone 3G S -- this Friday.  Apple also announced new MacBook Pros, detailed its new OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard), and revealed Quicktime X.  Speculation has already begun that the company is preparing a major refresh to its iPod lineup for the fall.


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RE: "You can observe a lot just by watching."
By Lord 666 on 6/20/2009 6:05:57 PM , Rating: 2
We were hoping that my recently born child's cord blood could have helped out, but my father's current provider said it wouldn't help for this type of CA.

However, kicking myself in the arse because the newborn is Type O negative. We debated about harvesting the cord blood, but figured the second one would have A+ like parents and older sibling. Could have been potentially extremely useful in the future and we should have done it anyway, maybe for the third kid ;)

Just curious, you didn't say if you were O- or O+. O+ represents the majority of American's second by A+. O- is about 7% with the most uncommon being AB negative.


By ChristopherO on 6/20/2009 6:31:05 PM , Rating: 2
I'm presently O+, after my donor I'll end up being A+. For reasons of medical privacy I know virtually nothing about the person, but they are female, young, and in good health. I also have a 10/10 match (oh, and they found multiple 9/10s just in case), so I've got the best odds possible. My transplant coordinator was laughing and said, "With female marrow perhaps you'll understand why women like getting flowers." I was also considered an extremely high-priority since I have acute leukemia and have severe genetic mutation of my stem cells (so it will eventually come back and kill me without a transplant, even with a transplant my 5-year odds are 50/50 at best).

It seriously makes me tear up when I think a young woman is going to have a permanent scar from getting a central line. She won't have to endure invasive surgery (like the old days), but it is going to be traumatic nonetheless. I just hope she signs the form that will consent to release her identity (you can do that after one year). I'd feel awful if someone saved my life and I couldn't even send her flowers, or fly out and meet her. I'm an only child, so I guess this has restored some of my faith in the goodness of other people (I was much more of a cynic before this).

Anyway, for marrow donation, blood type doesn't matter (as long as it's compatible). I can get A+ stem-cells since my "O" blood will still be compatible (in essence I donate blood to myself). However my odds for finding an A or AB donor will be vastly less. I had an 85-90% chance now, but will have only a 10-25% chance if I need another donor due to a relapse.

Marrow donation is also slightly different than others in that you need a DNA match to ensure survivability. It sounds like all the organs only require protein and blood type matches. I'm obviously not a physician, but I've had a crash course in all of this since early February (my diagnosis date).


RE: "You can observe a lot just by watching."
By ChristopherO on 6/20/2009 7:01:49 PM , Rating: 2
Oh and congrats on the new baby! Totally slipped my mind before.

Cord blood is a remarkable thing... They can actually use it for marrow transplants for kids, or even adults provided you can get two kids who are are identical twins with identical DNA markers. If you happen to bank the cord-blood, there is always a chance the National Marrow Registry will be contacting you about donating it in the future.

One of the things that bug me is that the marrow registry has the worst set of publicists ever. Most people think donation is surgical, whereas it's basically like giving platelets. You need to get a central line, which can leave a scar, but the procedure is fairly simple. 6 days of injections to build-up stem cells, then they filter them out via IV, pull the line, and you're done. Adding yourself to the registry only takes a mouth swab. The cost to add is $50 (to cover some of the costs), but donating costs nothing since the recipient (i.e. me) has to cover everything.


RE: "You can observe a lot just by watching."
By DrLudvig on 6/21/2009 6:28:11 PM , Rating: 2
Well, not trying to be a pessimist here, but the thing about the donation not being surgical, but just the hole central line thing, is not quite true in every case.
I recently received a Bone marrow transplant myself, using a donor from the USA (i'm from denmark) and that was done with no less than 42 stings in the hip of the donor (though only 6 external)..
But yeah, in some cases, they can do it IV, but in some cases it has to be done surgical aswell. So i'm just happy my donor agreed to actually being hospitalised for several days, and being stung so many times, because that has to be painfull for him aswell. And i really hope he will sign the papers so i can get in contact with him, because it's no small thing to do!
But wow, i'm kinda glad we have those taxes we have here, which allows me to get this entire treatment at no cost at all, and with all extra expenses being paid by the state..
And for those who are getting a bone marrow transplant, just keep positive! I've had no complications whatsoever since my transplant (+1 year now) so just keep fighting (:
Ps, sorry for my english, as said i'm Danish.


By ChristopherO on 6/21/2009 11:00:11 PM , Rating: 2
Congrats on your continued health... I'm glad to hear all went well! True, surgical donations still occur, but here in the US it seems to be an exception and almost everything allogeneic is done by stem cells (a lot of things can require marrow donation, so every disease might be different). I don't know the percentages off the top of my head but they did say that surgical procedures can still occur when needed.

The stem cell route (if I understand) for the donor is 6 days of GCSF shots (Neupogen), central line, then stem cell extraction via IV filtering (like platelet donation), then remove the line. The doctors might have simplified the process for me since I have "my own issues" (so to speak)... I'm grateful someone is doing it, and I am just trying to focus on what I need to get through. I hope she signs the forms because it would be really interesting to share experiences.

Also, good luck getting donor permission! I think I would go nuts if someone saved my life and I couldn't thank them.


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