Benz Update

August 04, 1991

A biopsy to determine how well the Rev. Bert Benz's body is accepting a bone marrow transplant from his daughter is to be postponed untiltomorrow because of complications from an infection, said a spokeswoman for the University of Kentucky's Markey Cancer Center in Lexington.

However, Benz shows early signs of accepting the transplant, said Kay Yeltin.

The infection, which resulted in high fever and signs of pneumonia, required moving Benz to intensive care Tuesday night in critical condition. He was upgraded to serious condition by Thursday, Yeltin said.

"He's fighting hard and appears to be responding to the antibiotics," Yeltin said.

Benz, 47, pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Hampstead, received the transplant July 19 from his daughter, Lauren, 12. It is his only chance of a cure for chronic myelogenic leukemia, which is usually fatal.

Benz's susceptibility to infection is highbecause of radiation and chemotherapy treatments before the transplant.

In Carroll County, his congregation and other supporters held another 24-hour prayer vigil that began Thursday evening in Benz's front yard in Hampstead.

"We sort of felt like it made us closer to (the family)," said friend and church member Jeannie Cover of Aspen Run. "It was like you expected them to walk out of the front door."

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