#MightyMaryJo Medical Care

#MightyMaryJo is an athletic bright-eyed 10 year old from Joliet IL. In mid-August, Mary Jo twisted her ankle running during a school exercise, which took her out of her regular soccer league play. At first it seemed she would have to miss a couple weeks and then be back in the game. But instead of healing, she got weaker and her parents thought she may have a cold. In early September, they took her in to the doctor.  Suddenly, they found themselves referred to the Lurie Childrens Hospital near Chicago (about an hour away from home), and Mary Jo was diagnosed with aplastic anemia, an autoimmune disease where her bone marrow does not make enough blood cells.  The 3 types of blood cells your body needs are: red blood cells (to carry oxygen), white blood cells (to fight infection), and platelets (to control bleeding). When all 3 types of blood cells are very low in number, the person has severe aplastic anemia (SAA). This was Mary Jo's diagnosis. She was hospitalized immediately, received several transfusions and was discharged a few days later. Friends at Troy Elementary, Mary Jo's school, started an armband campaign #MightyMaryJo, to show awareness of her condition. Mary Jo is upbeat and positive through all of this. Actually the whole family is stepping up, adapting to some 'new normal' lifestyle changes. They are grateful to their friends and neighbors who have helped drive the other Meyer children to and from sports and school events. They are thankful to have insurance that will cover most of the cost, but their deductible is based on a percent of the bill. A donation to the Meyers will help them with the out-of-pocket medical costs, transportation, and other extra costs they are facing as they take care of #MightyMaryJo.
Mary Jo began chemotherapy on November 30th, in preparation for a bone marrow transplant. On December 5th, just before the stem cells were transferred, the Chicago Bears dropped in to wish her a happy re-birthday!  In mid-December, her ANC count (one of the immunity measurements) starting climbing, and after 4 weeks of confinement she was allowed to take a walk down the hall. Christmas came and went in the hospital, and we hit another big goal! Mary Jo’s neutrophil count (a key indicator/contributor to a healthy immune system) jumped and she got her appetite back! It’s safe to say that her transfusion was successful! ♥️ . She had a visit from her friend Max who also had a Stem Cell Transplant 6 months earlier; their visit left us feeling positive. 
#MightyMaryJo still has some limitations like Graft vs Host (rejection) problems and susceptibility to all kinds of illness and disease yet, but she is doing really well. She and her mother moved to the Ronald McDonald house (RMH) for 2 weeks to comply with frequent  monitoring by the hospital. 
51 days after the transplant, Mary Jo and mom went home to Joliet, immensely grateful for all the love and support, and pleased with the results. The prayers were answered!
We are in awe of the anonymous 19 year old donor out there who has made a world of difference in our family's story.
  • Kathi Plymouth 
    • $100 
    • 38 mos
  • Jonathan Clough 
    • $20 
    • 43 mos
  • Lori Casey 
    • $100 
    • 45 mos
  • Rudy Trizna 
    • $50 
    • 46 mos
  • Erin & Maeve Selin 
    • $250 
    • 46 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Mary Mulligan 
Olin, IA
Shannon Meyer 
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