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Knoxville News Sentinel: He thought he had a pulled muscle. But a routine test found a near-fatal blood cancer

By Kristi Nelson
Knoxville News Sentinel, Oct. 23, 2017

Rick Friel went into the walk-in clinic for what he thought was a pulled muscle in his back.

He ended up hospitalized for nearly two months, being treated for a rare blood cancer.

“I drove myself to the emergency room” that day in March 2009, said Friel, now 49. “They took me into one of the rooms, started asking a whole bunch of questions, started running tests, and essentially I didn’t go home for about seven weeks.”

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