On Christmas Eve 2013, Jim suddenly felt out of breath and fatigued. He went to the doctor who advised him to go to the emergency room immediately. At the hospital, Jim received a blood infusion. Luckily, he was able to go home at midnight on Christmas Eve in order to spend Christmas Day with his family.
After several more blood transfusions, bone marrow biopsies, and consults with doctors both near his home in Pennsylvania and in New York City at Memorial Sloan Kettering, Jim was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). Jim was prescribed medication and offered blood transfusions.
By February 2014, Jim was not doing well. He was extremely weak and pale. While working a job as a fuel delivery driver, Jim collapsed on a customer’s lawn. He was forced to resign from his job, shortly after obtaining the CDL license that had enabled him to obtain that job. By March 2014, Jim started to feel better with the help of rest and medication. He continued to see his doctor monthly and was advised to “stay the course” with his medications.
In January 2015, Jim’s doctor changed. Along with the change came a completely new outlook. The new doctor advised Jim that the medication he was on would not continue to work and gave him three years to live. He was given an immediate referral to Thomas Jefferson University and is now on a fast track to having a stem cell transplant. Jim and his wife, Janice, were given the news that he would need a transplant the day before their 31st wedding anniversary.
Both of Jim and Janice’s children, James and Diane, were tested and are donor matches. Diane was selected to donate her blood and stem cells to Jim. He will be in the hospital for four to six weeks.
Through all of this, Jim still found time and energy to pick up and deliver a truck load of dog food to the animal shelter on a snowy day. The photo above depicts that act of generosity.
One of Jim’s greatest passions is animals; he and Janice have two dogs, Rocky and Bandit. He also loves classic cars. Five years ago, Jim and Janice combined these two passions by organizing a car show and used all proceeds to benefit the local no-kill animal shelter. The event, called “Crazy for Cars”, has become a recurring event and has raised thousands of dollars.
Jim and Janice’s only means of transportation is their truck, which has over 110,000 miles on it. The trip from their house in Stroudsburg, PA, to Philadelphia, PA, takes two and a half hours. There will be at least weekly trips back and forth after Jim is released from the hospital, which will place a great financial burden on the Takacs family. In order to meet these costs, the Takacs have teamed up with The Bone Marrow Foundation to open this One-to-One Fund. Any contributions you can make are greatly appreciated.
Or you can send a check, payable to The Bone Marrow Foundation.
Be sure to include Jim’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