Video: Young Girl Donates Bone Marrow To Save 3 Brothers

"I said yes, because they're my brothers"

13-year-old Julia Jenkins was the only person who could save them, being the perfect match


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ATLANTA - One local family is exemplifying the spirit of Christmas. A 13-year-old girl has twice donated bone marrow to her little brothers who suffer from a rare blood disorder. At 13, Julia Jenkins doesn't always see eye-to-eye with her three little brothers. They can be rowdy and more than a little competitive. But the Jenkins kids share a connection that runs deep. Julia Jenkins watched one brother get sick and then another and then another. Then she learned that she was the one person who might be able to help save them.

It started in 2008 when Will, then 2, developed a swollen lymph node in his neck. The diagnosis: Burkitt's lymphoma, a rare cancer of the lymphatic system. "I had asked the Lord, ‘Please don't let it be cancer.' But then when it turned to be cancerous, I had to change my perspective and say, ‘Thank you that's it's curable. If you get it in time, it's curable, you can fight it,'" said Christy Jenkins.

Will started chemotherapy, but then John, who was 6, began having severe stomach problems.

"They diagnosed John with Burkitt's lymphoma two years to the exact day later," said Christy Jenkins.

Doctors at the Aflac Cancer Center at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta started looking for answers.   Blood tests showed both Will and John had XLP, as did 2-year-old Matthew.

"Here I was approached with the plate of, 'All three boys need a bone marrow transplant to possibly survive,'" said Christy Jenkins.

That's where Julia comes in.

Julia was a perfect bone marrow donor match for both John and Matthew, but she was so young that she didn't even know what being a donor meant.

"But, I said yes, because they're my brothers," said Julia Jenkins. So she did.


Extraordinary story
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