An angel to Angel transplant
This evening — Sept. 12 — at around 8 p.m., 8-year-old Joey Angel will receive a bone marrow transplant from another angel — an anonymous 49-year-old woman — at the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington. Anonymity is insisted upon by the transplant organization sponsoring this procedure.
The donor had the painful procedure to remove some of her marrow yesterday. The donated bone marrow is on a flight that will get the precious cargo to Children’s National Medical Center in time for the procedure this evening. For the last week, Joey has been on chemotherapy to suppress his immune system so the marrow can do its job. The actual procedure should take an anti-climactic 30 minutes.
If all goes well, Joey will be cured.
Joey’s mother, Janel Giambrone, said her son does not have a clear diagnosis of a disease; his condition is a mystery. He is being treated for severe aplastic anemia, and this transplant can mean a normal life for the third-grader at Our Lady of Hope School in Potomac Falls. From birth, Joey has been treated for low platelets — normal is 160 to 300, his was 25.
He’s had years of transfusions to try to bring the otherwise healthy boy a normal life. This transplant should help his marrow produce normal blood levels.
Students at Our Lady of Hope are rallying for Joey by wearing hats all day on the day of his transplant. It’s one of the many ways the school and parish are helping support the little boy. Their efforts are buoying Joey’s spirits who wants so much to just be a normal boy.
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