NBC-5 News anchor Rob Stafford will return to the air Monday, after months of grueling treatment for a rare blood disorder that gave him a harrowing look at “my own mortality.”
“I thought we’d get this thing nipped in the bud,” said Stafford, 58, who took a leave of absence in March after being diagnosed to be in the early stages of amyloidosis.
Instead, Stafford said, he spent much of the last six months too sick to eat, drink or walk — while learning that the road back to health from serious illness is a process.
Amyloidosis occurs when abnormal protein called amyloid is produced in bone marrow and can be deposited in tissues and organs. There are more than 40 types of the disorder that affect the heart, kidneys, liver, spleen, nervous system and digestive tract. Stafford’s type — known as light chain amyloidosis — is rare, according to Dr. Ronald Go
, Stafford’s hematologist at the Mayo Clinic
in Rochester, Minnesota.