If you met JJ today, you’d never imagine he’s been anything but a typical active little boy. But his first year was anything but typical. Soon after he was born, JJ was diagnosed with severe congenital neutropenia. Hospitalized frequently with weekly blood work and increasing dosages of Neupogen, doctors urged his parents to consider transplant.
Because of JJ’s mixed ethnicity, his parents were told it might take a while to find his donor match. Danielle hosted an event to encourage more people to join the Be The Match Registry®. Amazingly, they received a call about a month later that his match had been found.
JJ’s transplant went so well that he was discharged after just seven weeks, rather than the expected 8-10 weeks. A grant from Be The Match® helped cover some of the family’s expenses like transportation to and from the hospital, meals, and parking.
When asked what he wants to be when he grows up, JJ replies, “I want to be a policeman like Uncle Ryan.” But that answer changes. And for a healthy active three-year-old, that’s definitely typical.
Before diagnosis, Jennifer says she didn’t feel quite right. “I started feeling out of breath on a jog—but it was different than feeling out of shape,” she explains. “It got to the point where I couldn’t stand up for a long time without feeling lightheaded.” Doctors diagnosed her with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and recommended a blood stem cell transplant.
Jennifer found her donor match on the Be The Match Registry®. It was celebrating the small wins that kept her going. Just six months after her transplant, she was going on strenuous hikes.
Soon after she learned how to code, landed her first job as a software engineer, and achieved one especially meaningful milestone: making the San Francisco 49ers Gold Rush cheerleading team. “Gold Rush was my way to prove to myself that leukemia wasn’t going to stop me from dancing.”
After being cured of cancer and achieving a life-long dream, Jennifer and her husband Colton felt compelled to give back. Grateful for a financial grant from Be The Match, they committed to
a monthly gift so that more patients could receive the same cure and promise of