Like many tales of mourning, this story was not supposed to end this way -- or to end this soon. Judah White, the young doctor whose battle with cancer became a clarion call for adult stem cell donations, died this month at 39. White, an intensely private person, allowed his suffering to enter the public domain so people could realize that there is no moral controversy attached to adult stem cells, that adult stem cell donation is relatively painless and that these donations are desperately needed to save lives.
White's case now also stands out as an example of the unavoidable imperfection of medical treatments. He died despite getting an adult stem cell transfusion that doctors hoped would help save him.