On September 12, 2015, the 3rd Annual Sickle Cell Disease 5K Walk & Run will be held at Long Dock to support Hope and Heroes, an organization that funds the life-saving work on childhood cancer and blood disorders at Columbia University Medical Center. The Salomon's sons, Jayden and Justin, are part of that life-saving work.
|Red blood cells affected by Sickle Cell Disease.|
Photo from National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute
When young Jayden Salomon was born in the Bronx, he lived with complications from Sickle Cell Disease, a red blood cell disorder that has a lot of complications, including pain, organ failure, and strokes. The only cure for the disease is a bone marrow transplant, where bone marrow is taken during a hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). The best match is a sibling who does not have the disease. Tough odds, but is part of what has cured many people and brought the life expectancy up from 14 years to 40-60 years in high-income countries.
|Jayden during one of his many hospital stays.|
Jayden beat the odds thanks to his baby brother, who was a perfect match for a bone marrow transplant. Jayden who is 12 today, is cured, thanks to his brother Justin, age 6, who was the donor when he was just a baby. Jessica recalls the decision: “When Justin was born, Jayden had already has multiple hospital admissions, lung complications, and so many other complications due to his disease. So we knew we had to test his little brother. By the graces of God, Justin was a perfect match! And on March 23, 2011 Justin donated his marrow and Jayden got his transplant at Columbia University Medical center. Jayden had a second shot at life. He is 100% cured. He is now 12 and living a full life. Justin is our hero! He is doing good as well!”
|Jayden and his hero brother, Justin, at Long Dock in Beacon, NY.|
The Salomons moved to Beacon, and Jessica wanted to give back to the healing world by bringing awareness to others about Sickle Cell Disease. She wanted to participate in a walk for the disease, but could not find any in this area. So she started one, using the fundraising platform at Hope and Heroes, and now people in this area can increase their awareness about the disease, contribute to one of the best medical centers in the country that happens to be local to many in the Hudson Valley, and enjoy a beautiful 5K run along Dennings Point! A win win for all.
|Jessica and Jesse Salomon during last year's walk.|
|The Salomon Family during a 5K Prep Walk through Dennings Point.|
|A table of volunteers from Delete Blood Cancer for bone marrow registration.|
Visit Jessica's Hope and Heroes page to create a team, register to walk or run, simply donate, or to just attend as a cheerleader. Put in your to-do list to donate blood, and consider registering as a bone marrow donor.
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