The June issue of The Bone Marrow Foundation’s e-newsletter included a patient profile of Jennifer Price Pollard. (Click here to view the newsletter.) After suffering from a life-long mystery illness, Jennifer was finally diagnosed with an extremely rare immunodeficiency disease called MonoMAC with peripheral lymphedema, caused by a genetic disorder in the GATA2 gene. While her doctors believe that a bone marrow transplant is the best course of treatment for Jennifer, a donor has not been identified yet. On top of that, MonoMAC is so rare, that any treatment is considered experimental and Jennifer’s insurance company has denied all of her claims.
Jennifer’s friends, family, and community have been fundraising to help Jennifer and her family cope with the extremely high cost of her medical care. In addition to contributing to Jennifer’s One-to-One Fund, they recently held the “Friends of Jennifer Benefit” which included a dinner and auction. The evening also included the two videos below, and the second was a surprise for Jennifer from her husband Ray.
To read more about Jennifer, click here.
Last night in North Carolina, Jordan Jemsek was named “Girl of the Year” by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Jordan first battled acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) in 2009 and she reached remission in 2010 after multiple rounds of chemotherapy. Unfortunately, she relapsed later that year and her treatment required a bone marrow transplant.
Jordan spent months in Washington, DC where her transplant was performed and where doctors monitored her body’s acceptance of the donated cells. In order to help pay for expenses related to her transplant, Jordan’s family opened a One-to-One Fund at The Bone Marrow Foundation to collect donations on her behalf. Happily, Jordan was able to return home during the summer of 2011. While her family’s focus is on her health, Jordan occasionally appears at events and speaks about her experience and the need for donors.
You probably know someone like Larry Smith. At 33, he is a son, a brother, and an uncle to four nieces. He worked in the auto industry and he enjoys a good laugh, especially with family and friends.
Doctors tested Larry’s family members to determine if any of them could be his donor, but no one was a match. Partial matches were found through the National Marrow Donor Program, but doctors hope to find a better match in order to improve the chances of successful treatment and recovery. To help find more potential donors for Larry and other transplant patients who are looking for matches, a donor registration drive is being held Saturday in Tolland, Connecticut.
While the search continues, doctors are preparing Larry for transplant with chemotherapy. After a suitable bone marrow donor is found, Larry will face additional expenses beyond his means. He has been unable to work since he was diagnosed, and Larry will need to relocate to be near the transplant center and will require 24-hour care while he recovers. To help pay for Larry’s transplant-related expenses and post-transplant care, his family has set up a One-to-One Fund at The Bone Marrow Foundation, through which supporters can make tax-deductible donations. One-to-One Funds are one of the ways the Foundation helps patients pay for their life-saving transplants and critical ancillary expenses.
Larry and his family are incredibly grateful for the support that they have received from their friends and community. They are determined that he will win this fight.