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age 4, blood cancer


Four-year-old Isaac is the baby of his family. He loves to play with a ball of any kind — basketball, baseball, soccer, football, even bowling! But most of all, he adores his older siblings, Matthew and Alyssa. Being separated from them was one of the hardest parts of cancer treatment for this loving boy. 

Isaac came to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital the day after his third birthday for treatment of a rare blood cancer called juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia. To survive, he needed a bone marrow transplant. And his own big sister was able to give Isaac — and the whole family — hope for his cure.

She is a miracle to all of us. It made her very sick that day, but she said she’d do it again.
Tiffany, St. Jude patient Isaac’s mom, on her daughter Alyssa being Isaac’s bone marrow donor.

Many people who need a transplant will not find a progenitor cell match among their family members, but Alyssa was an optimal match for Isaac’s transplant. She became his donor in October 2016. 


Isaac’s family did not pay for this procedure, because families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food.

Tiffany said, “The medical care itself would be more than what most anyone could do financially, and then we didn’t have to worry about housing, we didn’t have to worry about food, we didn’t have to worry about any of those things, and we got to focus on Isaac.” 

Isaac has been doing well post-transplant, going home to his family and returning to St. Jude for checkups. He started preschool in 2017.

“He told me, ‘Mom, I’ll miss St. Jude,’” said Tiffany. “And I told him, ‘You know, we’re going to come back for visits, and we’re still going to see the doctors. We just don’t have to stay.’ He was so ready to go home, and yet I think St. Jude becomes a part of you; it becomes a part of who you are and your experience. It’s been a life-changing experience in the most humbling of ways.”

Help our families focus on their sick child, not medical bills.

When you donate monthly, your gift means families, like Isaac's, never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food — because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.

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