ALEXANDRIA, Va. (WUSA9) — An 11-year-old Alexandria boy is battling a rare form of Leukemia. To beat it, he needs a bone marrow transplant, sooner rather than later.
Jack Creedon was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (LLS) in November of 2015 and underwent traditional chemotherapy. His body, however, did not respond to the treatment as well as doctors hoped.
It became clear that the cancer was living in his bone marrow.
“Every day something else comes up that just sets you back,” said Jack’s father, Dan Creedon.
Jack’s parents said it has been tough to find a match. In part because Jack, like his sister, was adopted from a Russian orphanage. So his own family members are not genetically compatible. Moreover, his biological parents, who are Eastern Europeans, are underrepresented in the international bone marrow registry.
“You think that coming from a Siberian orphanage with no care the first 12 months of your life that once you get beyond that things are going to get better,” said Jack’s mom, Lesli Creedon. “You never expect that the next thing that happens is something like this.”
Having had what promised to be two donors lined up, Jack had a “central line” inserted through his chest and up into his neck. That is where the donor’s bone marrow would have been pumped into him.
Even though both donors fell through for unknown reasons, the line remains. According to Jack’s dad, it was an invasive procedure and it is not worth putting Jack through that again.
“He’s really old enough to understand the risk,” his dad said. “And to try and keep his spirits up has been the most painful.”
Jack has been through about a dozen spinal taps, the procedure that doctors use to monitor the leukemia growth or lack thereof. The sooner Jack finds a match, the more likely it is that this boy will accept the donor’s bone marrow.
His family tried to call attention to his illness using social media. Watch the #Heroes4Jack video here.
In the meantime, his sister serves as a nurse — helping clean his central line — and as a best friend. The pair are only 12 days apart.
Jack and his parents want people to consider donating bone marrow. Even if you are not a match for Jack, you could help save someone else’s life.
Anyone can support the cause to help Jack and others affected by LLS by visiting Be the Match.