Grandparents Seek Bone Marrow Donor - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

10/21/03 - Longview

Grandparents Seek Bone Marrow Donor

Nick and Wanda Schneiders of Longview are proud grandparents, but their 2 year old grandson Jackson is suffering from a rare blood disease.

Doctors say his T-cells are non-existent which means his body can't even identify a germ. Jackson's only hope to live is a bone marrow transplant.

Jackson Bivens was born in Houston almost two years ago. His parent's and grandparents were filled with joy and expectation. There was no immediate sign anything was wrong. "When Jackson was born he was a little under weight but not anything that would alarm the doctors or anyone else, until he took extremely ill," says Nick Schneiders.

Jackson was diagnosed with an extremely rare blood disease. Doctors believe he is the only known case. His body can't identify germs or illnesses in order to fight them, which means Jackson has to live with his parents in Houston isolated from everyone but immediate family. "He cannot go out and play with other children. His B-day is coming up in a week and a normal two year old that would have a birthday party, have other kids his age over, he cannot have that," says Nick.

"He's a fighter. He doesn't seem to mind what the doctors do. He's just always happy. I very seldom have seen him cry in this 2 years," says Wanda.

Doctors say Jackson has to have a bone marrow transplant. Without it his organs will fail and he'll die. There are over 4 and a half million people on the transplant registery and so far they have not found a perfect match. For now all Wanda can do is comfort her own son.

"He says.... 'mom, why, why.' I tell him son, we have to pray a lot. We have to be strong.

Jackson's grandparents have organized a tissue typing drive to help find a bone marrow donor. The drive will be held Saturday October 25th at the Winterfield United Methodist church at 2616 Tryon road in Longview. The drive begins at 11 am and will continue through 3 pm.

Amy Tatum, reporting.

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