bone marrow drive

Jaime Crowley, Principal of Thompson Middle School and winner of the Middle School Principal of the Year Award in 2015, was diagnosed with Myelodysplastic syndrome RAEB (MDS) in 2015 and has been in need of a bone marrow transplant.

After a long search, Crowley has learned that his twin brother is a perfect bone marrow match.

Back in January, 344 people between the ages of 18-44 showed up at the Pell School to register for the donor drive and to show their support of Crowley and Maureen Martin, a secretary at Rogers High School, both who have been in search for a bone marrow match. What’sUpNewp is following up on Martin’s search for a match.

The announcement regarding Crowley finding a match was made on Facebook on Wednesday in a letter that was written by Melissa Crowley, Jaime’s wife;

“After 21 days of chemo and weekly blood transfusions, Jaime leaves today to begin his great journey of having a bone marrow transplant at Mass General. We are extremely fortunate that after originally being told his brothers were not matches, his twin Michael (who had been sick when they originally tested which delayed his results) is a perfect match. Jaime will spend the next month in isolation while receiving intense chemo the first week which will destroy his entire immune system…good and bad. Next week he will have his transplant or what they call in the medical field, a rebirth or day zero since it is a new beginning. They have told us that the actual transplant is an emotional process so he will be surrounded by close family members. He will become very thin and lose his hair which he worries might frighten our children and all of his students. I tell him to stop worrying…it’s baseball season and our family lives in a baseball hat for the next six months anyway. The doctors are very optimistic as is Jaime and our entire family that he will conquer this and will continue to live a full life….we just need to get through these next few months.

Once this is all done, I will look for help on educating our children of the importance of being on the donor list. Our bodies have the ability to heal others…think about that, it really is a beautiful thing. Like me until this happened, I don’t think people understand the importance. Ideally I would like to reach out to high school health teachers and have them teach the simplicity and importance of being on the donor list so when kids turn 18, they do. Only 5% of people are on the list but so many are in need.

These last few months have been extremely emotional for me but not necessarily in a sad way. I have learned that deep down people really want to help others. We have read aloud and saved every card and savored every meal and dessert. We can never thank our dear friends enough who helped organize the fundraiser, those who contributed and the many that attended. Every time Jaime gets blood (and he will be getting up to two blood transfusions a day for a while), I think about the person who stopped to donate…another sign we all want to help. And of course there is Michael…there are no words for what he is doing for Jaime. He literally is giving him life again.

Jaime is extremely eager and motivated to begin this process. He looks forward to gaining strength and being able to do what he loves most but for right now, he has a job to get done!”