Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I know this is totally shallow of me to say (especially when we are talking about such a serious disease), but Blaise and Madeline are the most handsome looking FA kids I have ever seen. They don't appear to have the "tell-tale" close set eyes. They seemed to have been spared the severe birth defects. 

I wonder where Hampton Cove is.

October 21, 2008

Scott and Nancy Finnegan learned last year that both their 17-year-old son, Blaise, and 13-year-old daughter, Madeline, have Fanconi anemia. They will eventually need bone marrow transplants to survive.
Madeline and Blaise also have aplastic anemia, meaning they have lost some bone marrow, and is being treated by a Minneapolis doctor who specializes in Fanconi anemia.

On October 31st, a bone marrow/blood drive sponsored by Life South will be held at Hampton Cove Middle School in hopes of finding a donor for Blaise and Madeline. Siblings are usually the best bone marrow donors, but the Finnegans’ youngest child, 8-year-old Trinity, is not a match.

The ordeal began in March 2007, when Madeline, now in her final year at Hampton Cove Middle School, went to the doctor because of stomach pain and vomiting. Her pediatrician suspected appendicitis, but tests showed problems with her red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets.

Eventually, Madeline developed sores in her mouth and throat and was sent to St. Jude for a bone marrow biopsy; she was diagnosed with Fanconi anemia a few days later.

Fanconi anemia is a genetic blood disorder that causes bone marrow failure and often leads to acute myelogenous leukemia. Even after bone marrow transplants, Fanconi patients have an increased risk of developing cancer and other serious health problems.

Blaise, a Huntsville High senior who plays bass guitar and golf, was diagnosed while being tested for a bone marrow match for his sister. Neither child appears sick, but must be careful to observe signs related to Fanconi anemia.

Madeline and Blaise will eventually need a match if their bone marrow continues to fail. Nancy is Mexican, so there may be an increased chance to find a match within the Hispanic ethnicity; but we encourage all to support the effort in finding a positive bone marrow match.

We are asking for your support at the bone marrow/blood drive on October 31st at Hampton Cove Middle School from 7a.m.-7 p.m. Bone marrow testing is a painless swab of the check with a Q-Tip.

For more information, please contact
Chanda W. Davis at 256-755-4600 or Stacy Copeland at 256-428-8380

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