I must begin this piece by saying that it is not an easy one to write.
You see, as you are reading these words, a 17 year-old honor student is fighting to live and is on borrowed time.
His name is Juwan Adams. You may have seen him being interviewed on the local news and most recently, he was on “Good Morning America,” where co-anchor Robin Roberts joined his fight because she too, had a similar battle.
Juwan was in the 8th grade at Abington Jr High School, when his mother Andrea had to rush him to the emergency room because he was struggling to breathe.
Andrea had been noticing from September of 2015 that Juwan was not growing and gaining weight like his peers, and he seemed to be sick too often for her liking. He was 13 years old and 69 pounds.
As someone who was in the medical field, she knew something was wrong, but could not convince the doctors to give him a chest x-ray until the night of April 16, 2016 when he almost died.
What they found, was a huge black mass across Juwan’s chest and he was immediately sent to children’s hospital where he spent three weeks in the ICU.
His prognosis was Hodgkins Lymphoma, a blood cancer and the same one that Robin Roberts fought successfully with the help of her sister.
While Juwan’s situation was grave, his parents had hope because this cancer was considered to be one of the most curable. The doctors actually said, he had one of the “good cancers.”
Except Juwan has a rare kind of cancer that does not respond to treatment which they found out in November of 2016 after chemotherapy and radiation did not help him.
They then turned to a stem cell transplant, using his own stem cells, and did another year of chemotherapy.
Juwan ended treatment February 2018 and the cancer returned in April 2019, more aggressively.
The family tried every possible treatment available to him and they did not work. In addition, none of Juwan’s immediate family members were a perfect stem cell match for him.
So now, he needs a new transplant which entails an unrelated donor which is a 10/10 match and that donor only needs to supply blood, not bone marrow.
His team of doctors need to have a match by April 1st because it takes 4-6 weeks to process and prep whoever the match would be, to increase their stem cell Production.
Juwan MUST have a stem cell transplant.
By the end of June 2020, because the cancer is still spreading, he needs this transplant before it spreads out of control where nothing would work to cure him.
He is quite literally, on borrowed time.
Juwan has such a will to live, he continues to work, tutor as a math coach, is in the national honors society at Abington Senior high school, and volunteers through raising books and toy drives for other children with cancer. He is a remarkable human being who deserves a shot at living beyond this dreadful disease.
Here is how YOU can help — text SAVEJUWAN to 61474 and follow the directions for obtaining a kit in the mail. You simply have to be between the ages of 18-44 and in relatively good health. According to Andrea Adams, some chronic conditions like arthritis, diabetes or hypertension are still acceptable and you could donate.
If you or your organization wants to host a stem cell donor drive, please email: [email protected] and you will be contacted for further instructions.
Will you help us to save his life? It is the one gift he truly desires.