To talk with Jenny Motta is to experience true passion for a cause - a passion born out of experience and not just lip service. Jenny is an exuberant young professional that not only has a deep insight and compassion for those in the CML community - she's committed her life to helping in anyway she can.
Nine years ago, when Jenny's younger sister was diagnosed with Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia, she and her family were met with the same questions and fears faced by anyone hearing the news of a cancer diagnosis. When the diagnosis came, many of the therapy options that we have today were not available. Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors had only been available for a short time and her sister's case indicated that a Bone Marrow Transplant was in order.
Since research has shown that female siblings of the same parents may have a greater chance for match, Jenny and her other siblings were tested to determine if one of them might be a suitable match for her sister. Fortunately, the search for a donor was very short because Jenny was actually a perfect HLA donor match.
Jenny admits that when she first heard her sister had CML, she didn't have any idea what it was. Both she and her sister asked questions, searched for information, and sought out others who would share their story and help them understand all that was involved. Jenny shares that the doctors gave her some options on the manner in which they would harvest the necessary cells. Ultimately, with their case, the decision was made that Jenny would be placed under anesthesia and the cells would be harvested from her hip region. Jenny is quick to clarify a few things about the procedure and to help dispel the mystery surrounding the procedure. She says the procedure took approximately two hours and that she was asleep throughout the entire process.
There was some minimal soreness following the procedure, but Jenny says "not bad at all, considering that the small amount of effort on my part helped save my sister's life!"
July 18th of this year marked the ninth anniversary of the day she and her sister's lives became even more connected. The O+ blood that used to course through her sister's veins is now Jenny's B+. "Our lives were more separate before. We were more like friends. Now we're more connected - at the hip, literally," says Jenny.
Today, Jenny and her sister are successful business women - Jenny as an expert in the Aerospace Technology industry and her sister as a successful business owner.
Jenny's story provides a unique perspective for us in the CML community. It's encouraging to know that there are those out there willing to go that extra mile on behalf of others.
Today we celebrate not only the life of a fellow CMLer, but that of a family member that paved the way for abundant life for them both!
You can learn more about Jenny's story and the work she does by visiting www.cancersreality.org.
For more information on bone marrow and stem cell transplants, as well as the donor registry, visit www.bethematch.com.