(CBS) — The mother of a 3-year-old Winnetka girl has taken to social media to find a matching bone marrow donor for her daughter.
“Our world was turned upside down ten days ago when our 3-year-old Reese was admitted to Lurie Children’s Hospital,” wrote Reese’s mom, Jennifer Felderman, in an emotional post on Facebook. “After a week of testing our oncologists presented us with JMML, a very rare form of leukemia.”
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute describes juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia (JMML) as, “a rare type of blood cancer that occurs when bone marrow production of white blood cells becomes severely disregulated.”
Felderman tells CBS 2 that a few months ago she began to worry something was wrong with Reese. “She was a happy and energetic three year old. But she seemed to get hit harder by common illnesses than her identical twin sister.”
The urgency of the JMML diagnosis is propelling the Felderman family to act now. “Finding a donor while Reese is still healthy matters a lot and things can change from day-to-day quickly,” writes Felderman. “I was told it can take up to two months to secure a donor in the registry. For this reason, it benefits Reese to have the swab process begin now.”
Potential donors provide a sample of their DNA by scraping the inside of the check with a cotton swab. This swab is then tested for a minimum of 6 basic proteins, or markers.
The bone marrow drive will take place on Thursday, December 28, 2017 at Sacred Heart Parish Center in Winnetka from 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM.
Felderman says the bone marrow drive is to also help other families looking for a match. “This is how our family is trying to help other people who need donors. If we all reach out to our network, more potential donors will be in the database, and more lives will be saved.”