Relying On The Strength Of A Mother
North American Precis Syndicate
F| Relying On The Strength Of A Mother (NAPSA)—A mother’s strength seemsto defy the laws of physics, with some moms supporting and fighting for their children for longer than might seem humanly possible. One mother’s battle for her children can serve as an inspiration for anyone who wants to makea difference. Jessica Pasley knows what strength means. Nine years ago, Jessica and her husband, Irvin, were blessed with twin girls, Jillian and Jade. Amidst the joy that new babies bring, the Pasley family could not foresee that in a year their strength would be tested and a fight for life would begin. Several monthsafter her birth, Jade developed an ear infection that would not heal. After several trips to the doctor, a blood test revealed that 1-year-old Jade had acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). Jade’s only option for survival was to have a marrow transplant. Jessica, Irvin, their 5-year-old son Myles, and baby Jillian wereall tested to see if they could be a potential marrow donor for Jade. Instead of a miracle, the Pasley family was faced with moretragic news. Not only was there not a match for Jade in their family, but Jillian’s blood test showed that she too might develop leukemia. A few months later, both Pasley girls were in the hospital holding on to life. Throughout this ordeal, Jessica remained strong and decided to do everything she could to help save her daughters. She started a search for a marrow donor on the ee it i Wi 4 @| Mother urges more African Americans to join the National Marrow Donor Program Registry to save morelives. National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP)Registry. The NMDP makes lifesaving marrow and cord blood transplants possible for individuals who do not have a matched donor in their family. According to the NMDP, only 30 percent of patients find a matched donor in their family. The other 70 percent can turn to the NMDPto search for an unrelated donor. Marrow transplants require matching certain tissue traits of the donor and patient. Because these traits are inherited, a patient’s mostlikely match is someone of the same heritage. Despite a lack of minority donors on the NMDP Registry, donors werefoundfor both girls. Unfortunately, Jade died a few months after transplantation. Jillian, now 9 years old, has had two transplants from the same donor. Jillian calls him “hero.” xperiencing cancer with two children has been overwhelming to the family. Jessica and Irvin found strength from their children to endure the transplant journey. Jessica’s story of strength does not end here. Jessica is fiercely committed to encouraging more African Americans to join the NMDPRegistry. “Hello! Wake up! Are wekilling off our own by not stepping up? Are we turning our heads, expecting someoneelse to do the job?” asks Jessica. Joining the registry is painless and requires only a swab of cheek cells. Due to genetics, individuals in need of a transplant will most likely find a match within their own ethnic group. “Get educated. Tell others. Get registered,” urges Jessica. The NMDP makeit easy for people wanting to save lives to join the registry. Attending a marrow donor drive is one wayto register. The largest of these drives is the Thanks Mom! Marrow Donor Drive that is held from May 7- May 21 and corresponds with Mother’s Day. For two weeks, Thanks Mom! drives are held all over the country. The second way one can join the registry is to visit marrow.org and order a kit to collect a swab of cheekcells for tissue typing. Joining and diversifying the NMDP Registry is extremely important, but equally important is having strength. Strength to believe that you can be the one to save a life. For more information about the National Marrow Donor Program and how you can savea life, visit marrow.org or call (800) MARROW-2.
On the Net:North American Precis Syndicate, Inc.(NAPSI)