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Carew Takes Indefinite Leave To Be With Ailing Daughter

Sat., April 6, 1996

California Angels batting instructor Rod Carew took an indefinite leave of absence Friday to be with his daughter, Michelle, who is experiencing more complications in her seven-month battle with a potentially fatal form of leukemia.

“Her condition has changed dramatically, and that’s why I did this,” Carew said, declining to elaborate on the exact nature of the complications. “I just have to stay away (from the team) right now.”

Michelle Carew, 18, underwent an umbilical cord-blood transplant March 22, a procedure doctors hope will provide her with a new immune system.

Carew said it is too early to determine if Michelle’s body has accepted or rejected the cord blood. If the procedure is successful, new white blood cells will begin reproducing. If not, Michelle could experience “graft vs. host disease,” which could result in potentially serious complications.

Michelle, listed in critical condition at Children’s Hospital of Orange County, has had kidney failure and went on dialysis this week.

Last fall, she suffered from serious fungal infections and underwent 14 operations, including one that saved her vision in September. She also survived a five-week period this winter in which she was critically ill and needed round-theclock care for respiratory failure, heart failure, liver and kidney failure and extreme fevers.

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