Jennifer Price Pollard
For the last 35 years, Jennifer Price Pollard has been beset by extraordinary, relentless, and overwhelming medical challenges. When she was nine years old, she became ill and began suffering from frequent life-threatening blood infections. Something as simple as a small scratch or a bee sting would turn into a full-blown blood infection that would require lengthy hospitalizations with IV antibiotic therapy.
Despite these challenges, Jennifer has always tried to share an active and adventurous life with Ray, her partner of 23 years, their two daughters, and her friends and family. Sadly, her medical condition has now become extremely disruptive to her daily life, and it is necessary that she pursue a cure for her infections. Jennifer is doing her best to remain positive, but she barely has time or energy to spend with her loved ones, and her favorite activities, like running, swimming, and playing the French horn, are now things of the past.
In March 2011, Jennifer suffered an infection so severe that she was hospitalized for five weeks. During this hospitalization, doctors discovered that her bone marrow was not producing functioning white blood cells for unknown reasons. Up until recently, Jennifer’s medical condition defied diagnosis, but this particular infection prompted a series of events that led her to doctors that would finally find out the cause of her lifelong medical challenges.
After all the years of hospitalizations and care from experts throughout the country, Jennifer was led to the doctors at the University of Washington Medical Center and Seattle Children’s Hospital. Following several trips to the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and countless tests, she was diagnosed with an extremely rare immunodeficiency disease called MonoMAC with peripheral lymphedema caused by a genetic disorder in the GATA2 gene. Reports show that there are currently only around 30 patients in the world with this diagnosis.
Jennifer was told that the average life expectancy for this disease is 34 years, which she has now surpassed by ten. She is currently enduring daily IV antibiotic therapy and many other treatments, but her body is weak and her bone marrow is failing. Jennifer was told that her only hope for survival is a bone marrow transplant. Without it, she will continue to suffer life threatening infections and the disease could transform into acute leukemia.
Unfortunately, MonoMAC with peripheral lymphedema is so rare and newly discovered that Jennifer is facing insurmountable obstacles to receiving this treatment. There is no FDA approved treatment available or established diagnosis code for insurance billing. All treatment is considered experimental, including a bone marrow transplant. This means every bill is being denied and the insurance company will not pay for treatment. There also are no clinical trials available to Jennifer.
An average bone marrow transplant recipient faces not only the cost of the actual transplant procedure, but also the costs of increased co-pays, caregiver expenses, medications, the donor search and match, relocation, and transportation. Because insurance has refused to pay for any further procedures to begin this life-saving process for her, Jennifer must prepare for these additional expenses as well as the actual cost of medical treatment. Experts in financing bone marrow transplants have told Jennifer and her family that they must quickly and aggressively raise at least $250,000 to make this transplant happen.
Jennifer’s amazing spirit and love for life and her family have helped sustain her through all her obstacles. She is grateful for the emotional support that friends and family are providing, but she is now greatly in need of financial assistance. In order to raise funding for Jennifer’s potentially life-saving transplant, her friends and family have teamed with The Bone Marrow Foundation to help collect donations on her behalf.
Or you can send a check, payable to The Bone Marrow Foundation.
Be sure to include Jennifer’s name on the front of the check.
Send check to:
The Bone Marrow Foundation
515 Madison Avenue, Suite 1130
New York, New York 10022