Tufts Grad Donates Bone Marrow To Save Baby Boy

Top Quote Transplant gives normal life to child with rare immune disorder. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) June 13, 2017 - Newborn twins A.J. and Emma Loscheider had only been home for a few days when mom Christena noticed something was wrong with A.J. He was rushed to the hospital, where doctors worked for five months to diagnose his condition – Immune dysregulation, Polyendocrinopathy, Enteropathy, X-linked (IPEX) syndrome. This rare genetic condition, with only 150 known cases worldwide, results in multiple autoimmune disorders.

    A.J.’s best chance of a cure was through a bone marrow transplant to replace his immune system. Family members were disappointed when none of them were a match for A.J., but that feeling quickly turned to relief and excitement: Gift of Life Marrow Registry found a potential donor match for A.J. in its registry on the first day of the search.

    That volunteer donor was Nick Judson, a Tufts University student who had joined Gift of Life’s registry in March 2014 when a friend invited him to a donor drive as he walked across campus. Just over a year later, Nick got a phone call saying he was a match and had the opportunity to save a baby’s life.

    When he learned he would be donating bone marrow under anesthesia, Nick decided he would do whatever was necessary. “What’s a few hours of your time compared to the entire life of a nine-month-old little boy – it was the easiest decision!” he said.

    While Nick was completing his senior year studying political science and economics A.J. was busy recovering, but Christena and Alex still did not know Nick’s name because donors and recipients must remain anonymous for the first year. Christena said that they had just received the forms to request contact when they got an unexpected call from Gift of Life, inviting them to meet A.J.’s donor for the first time at the One Huge Night Gala in New York on May 17, 2017.

    Christena is pleased to report that A.J., now two years old, is no longer taking any medications and can eat normal food, which is a major milestone. Like most toddlers, A.J. loves playing with his brother and sister, going to the park, boating, bike riding, reading, singing, dancing and spending time with his cat, Greta.

    “Without a vibrant and active registry, sick individuals may not get the chance to see tomorrow or the next day,” said Nick. “With Gift of Life, they get the chance to carry out the rest of their lives.”

    For more information on joining the Gift of Life Marrow Registry, visit www.giftoflife.org.

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