James Watkins, a musician who is active in the Kansas City music community, was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in March of 2010 at the age of 29. Since his initial cancer diagnosis he has endured multiple rounds of chemotherapy, radiation treatment, and two separate bone marrow transplants.
James first received an autologous bone marrow transplant, using his own stem cells, in January of 2011, which allowed him to achieve remission for a short time. Unfortunately it was not long before doctors discovered a new lymphoma in early 2012. James was devastated to learn that his cancer had returned, but he found the motivation to endure a second lymphoma diagnosis through his desire to sustain the successful momentum of his band. He had just released a new album called “Goodbye New York” with Mike Borgia & The Problems when he learned of the reoccurrence. Luckily, his band mates found a temporary bassist who was willing to fill in for James until he was ready to return.
During Christmas of 2012, James’ sister, Jennifer, donated her stem cells to him for his second bone marrow transplant. It was a long recovery with many challenges but by summer 2013, he was ready to record a new album with his band. James recovered in time to play live with The Problems at their CD release for the new album, “Shame,” after his long hiatus. After a few months of clear scans, James had another occurrence of Lymphoma in January 2014. He is currently receiving a new chemotherapy treatment that causes uncomfortable side effects like muscle and joint pain, nausea, and hair loss. Because his immunities are low, he takes precautions like wearing a mask and gloves in public in order to stay as healthy as possible through this ongoing process.
He continues to receive regular medical care and routine scans to monitor his progress and deal with the many lasting effects of his long fight with cancer. He has physical therapy several times a week to help regain his strength and muscle function. James is also struggling with graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) and has caused his immunities to be in danger from the steroids and other medications used to combat his symptoms.
The medical bills from treatment, transplant, recovery and rehabilitation have become more than he and his family can handle. His rehabilitative care is just as crucial as his treatment to his successful recovery and quality of life. In order to help with their increasing medical expenses, James and his family have teamed with The Bone Marrow Foundation in hopes of collecting donations on his behalf. They are incredibly grateful for any contributions, prayers, and continued support.
Or you can send a check, payable to The Bone Marrow Foundation.
Be sure to include James’ name on the front of the check.
Send check to:
The Bone Marrow Foundation
515 Madison Avenue, Suite 1130
New York, New York 10022