By Pam Jones, Editor.
Jeremy Perdue is a young husband and father of five children ranging in age from 1 to 11 years old. He is a Turner Valley resident and only 35-years-old. Jeremy has served and protected Canadians for years as a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and has been attached to the Turner Valley Detachment for the last six years.
Jeremy has been diagnosed with Leukemia and is undergoing severe chemotherapy that puts him in the Peter Lougheed hospital for 30 days then home for a week, then it starts all over again. The best course of treatment for Jeremy is a stem cell replacement. He is currently awaiting a ‘matched’ donor.
Stem Cell Replacement (SCR) in Canada is performed in most major cities, with many clinical trials also being undertaken.
The OneMatch.ca website has an opening welcome of “Give Someone a Second Chance at Life” followed by: “For Gabe, diagnosed with leukemia, a stem cell transplant may be the only option for treatment. At any given time close to 1,000 Canadians are waiting for a stem cell match – and for a future full of hope. You can help by joining Canadian Blood Services’ OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow Network.” This could equally apply to Jeremy.
Jeremy is asking that, if you are between 17 and 35 years old, you consider going to this website and exploring how you too could become a donor.
There has been a lot of talk in the media about stem cell research and also a lot of mystery surrounding it. People think to be a ‘match’ you need to be related. While this might be the ‘ideal’ situation in reality less than 25% of stem cell matches are from family members. This means that 75% of people awaiting stem cell replacement have to rely on the generosity of volunteer donors.
There are two kinds of donations:
Peripheral Blood Stem Cell (PBSC) Donation
With PBSC collection, your blood is drawn through a needle in a non-surgical procedure done at the hospital. After the stem cells are separated from the blood, the rest is returned back to your body through another needle. To increase the number of blood stem cells in your bloodstream, you will receive daily under-the-skin injections of granulocyte colony stimulated factor (G-CSF) for five days before the donation.
Bone Marrow Stem Cell Donation
This is a surgical procedure performed under anesthesia. Hollow needles withdraw stem cells from your bone marrow from the back of your pelvic bones. The procedure lasts 45 to 90 minutes.
The registration process is simple and you can register online at OneMatch.ca.
While Jeremy is awaiting his ‘match’ his family needs the support of our community. Yes, Jeremy is on paid sick leave, but that doesn’t give him the compensation for all the overtime he used to log so that his wife, Kira, could stay home and raise their five children. Yes, Jeremy has healthcare benefits because of his career choice, but there are many, many expenses that insurance plans do not cover. For example the family’s aging van has over 300,000klms and the trip to see Dad is 150 klms each time that would be 4,500 additional kilometres each month that Jeremy is undergoing his treatments until a donor is found. With no family living locally Kira and Jeremy need our support. To this end a trust fund has been set up at ATB Financial in Black Diamond, under Kira Perdue, where you can add your contribution any time you’re in there. If you do online banking a special email account has been opened to collect donations: email@example.com. This email account is being handled by the NCO of the Turner Valley Detachment, Paulina Larrey-King. Please don’t forget that in a community of over 2,500 every small donation adds quickly to the big picture.
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