On May 13, 2020, at just 3 weeks old, Jude Pedersen was admitted to the hospital for an extremely elevated white blood cell count, fever and a potential umbilical cord infection.
Because his umbilical cord was still attached and he had an elevated white blood cell count, the doctors believed that he may have a very rare genetic disorder known as Leukocyte Adhesion Deficiency.
During the first hospital admissions Jude’s white blood cell count and inflammatory markers were fluctuating, making it difficult for the doctors to determine if his infection was actually from his umbilical cord. After several weeks in the hospital there was a consistent downward trend, which meant Jude could return home on IV antibiotics. About a week after being discharged, Jude’s genetic testing came back confirming that he had LAD Type 1.
Leukocyte Adhesion Deficiency Type 1 is a very rare immune disorder that results in reoccurring bacterial and fungal infections. The body’s white blood cells lack the ability to leave the blood stream to go to a site of infection. This means an infection can become life threatening easily and rapidly. Unfortunately, those with LAD Type 1 have a high fatality rate without a Bone Marrow Transplant.
Jude will be receiving a Bone Marrow Transplant this September when he is just over 4 months old. He is fortunate enough that his 3-year-old brother is a perfect 12/12 donor match. The transplant process will require that Jude and his mother are in the hospital for 6-to-8 weeks. His immune system will remain compromised for approximately a year after the transplant.
Jude’s disorder means that he has to limit his contact with other people, which prevents him from being able to go to daycare. Jude’s mom, Jessie, has had to drastically reduce her hours at work in order to care for her boys. Jude's dad, Anthony, has continued to work to help support the family, but now that they have exhausted their savings, they are beginning to feel the stress of multiple hospital admissions. The Pedersen family still has the impending financial burden of a bone marrow transplant, which is rapidly approaching.
Baby Jude needs this transplant to save his life. Please spread the word and donate what you can to help fund the procedure and support the Pedersen family as they navigate this challenging event.
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