The search for a bone-marrow match -, Albany News, Weather, Sports

The search for a bone-marrow match

July 16, 2004

Cordele-Jack and Melba Wood are very proud of their twenty-five year old daughter Jaclyn. They sift through many of the awards she has received as a nursing student. Her mother says"She got chosen Who's Who and she's in the honor society and she's been on the dean's list every time."

They remember how she helped her grandmother when she was diagnosed with cervical cancer. "She would take care of her, sit up there all day while she was getting the chemo," explained Mrs. Wood, but Jaclyn still managed to keep up with her school work. "Jaclyn drove her back and forth to the doctor for her visits which was eight hours of chemo and radiation and then she would come home, re-dress and then go to her clinicals," her mother remembers.

She learned shortly before her grandmother got better, some shocking news about her own health. Jaclyn's parents were shocked to hear their daughter had been diagnosed with Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia. Her father says "I broke down. She put her arms around me and she said daddy, "I can't let you suffer because of me. I can't lay here in waller in my pity. I have to beat this thing" so I didn't do that anymore"

Just three days before her diagnosis, Jaclyn's boyfriend asked her to marry him, and just after her treatment began, some more bad news. The leukemia has already affected her ovaries and fallopian tubes. Jaclyn was told she would never be able to have a child. "She cried more in that office that day than when she found out she had leukemia," remembers Mrs. Wood.

Through emotional distress and expensive medical bills, Jaclyn's family has stayed strong throughout this traumatic experience. "You just have to pray and keep faith and stay positive," says Mr. Wood, but Jaclyn needs a bone marrow transplant and they can't find a matching donor.

The family hopes a drive at the National Guard Armory in Cordele tomorrow will be the answer. "They just take a little tube of blood from your arm and you sign a consent form," explains Mrs. Wood.

Tomorrow is a crucial day for the Wood family. Her father says "It will save her. It will save her life." It could save Jaclyn's life, only if the right match shows up for the test.

The Bone marrow drive will be held from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM.