Jim Sweeney’s Leukemia Journey

Dear friends,

This is a picture of Jim Sweeney and his wife Mary Kay Claus with their two rescued labs on Christmas Day of 2016. Little did they know what Christmas Day 2017 had in store for them.  As the saying goes, life sure can come at you in the strangest ways.

Jim, my friend, a groomsman in my wedding, and a colleague for over 30 years, was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) on Christmas Eve 2017. 

He proceeded to spend 45 days in Inova Fairfax Hospital receiving two rounds of chemotherapy treatment that, unfortunately, were not successful in getting him into remission.  He is currently receiving outpatient “maintenance” chemotherapy as he awaits a consultation at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland to determine if he is a candidate for a bone marrow transplant (necessary for a cure).

As many of you know, Jim has been an independent contractor in the media industry for the majority of his career.  This means he has neither paid vacation nor sick leave accrued, and due to this debilitating disease, is currently unable to generate any income. It is highly unlikely that Jim will be able to return to work in 2018.

Jim and Mary Kay need your help as they navigate through this journey.

Although they do have insurance, it does not cover all expenses. We are asking for your donations to help them with the following:
·      Additional Medical expenses
·      Travel to/from Johns Hopkins (should he be accepted)
·      Travel to/from another treatment center or clinical trial (TBD)
·      Housing for out of state treatment (patients do not stay in the hospital throughout the duration of the transplant procedure, but must find near by housing)
·      Home health care provider to assist Jim at the off-site housing
·      Loss of Income
·      Daily living expenses

Many of you have already generously offered to be a bone marrow donor.  Unfortunately, it’s not like offering to donate your Type A+ blood to his. We all wish it were that easy! 

Jim will have to rely on a match through the national donation bank: www.bethematch.org.  Visit this site and you can find out more about the procedure and how you can register.

Jim and Mary Kay will share updates with me (here) as they know more, and both want you to know that Jim continues to keep his positive attitude and wicked sense of humor.

I thank you, and so do they.

Darren Williams


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Organizer and beneficiary

Darren Williams 
Springfield, VA
James Sweeney 
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