Jocelyn McGlynn. (Photo courtesy of Jacquelyn McGlynn via Facebook.)

Stem cell donors sought to help ‘a beautiful young lady’

A Chatham family is hoping and praying that their daughter, who has recently been diagnosed with acute myelomonocytic leukemia (AMML), can pull through.

Twenty-one year old Jocelyn McGlynn was diagnosed with AMML on November 30. Her father, Peter McGlynn, said Jocelyn started feeling unwell the week prior and has been receiving treatment at a hospital in London since the diagnosis.

“She is on her seventh day of chemo treatment so [Tuesday] will be her last bag,” he said. “We’ll be in the hospital for [about] a month and that’s just the first step. We understand that this is going to be a life-long process.”

McGlynn said the past few weeks have been a struggle for the family.

Jocelyn was born in London but has lived in Chatham since she was three-years-old. Until just recently, she was a student at Western University, in her fourth year of Medical Sciences. She has stepped away from school to focus on her health. McGlynn said it’s hard to describe Jocelyn in mere words.

“She lights up when she sees people,” he said. “She’s a beautiful young lady, inside and out. She so appreciates the support she’s been getting. The family doesn’t want this momentum to stop, the support, and the love that we have received is so welcomed.”

Jacquelyn McGlynn shared Jocelyn’s story through a post on Facebook. It states that Jocelyn will likely need a stem cell transplant and although her brothers are willing to donate cells if they’re a match, there is a chance that they won’t be.

Friends and family members are in the process of organizing some donor clinics in the community on December 22 and January 9.

“We’re hoping that something can come through for Jocelyn or for some other people,” said McGlynn. “It does scare folks with ‘bone marrow’ being the word, but right now there are two different methodologies. Stem cells can be recovered, which is like giving blood, the stem cells are just harvested from the blood… If it’s required, a real marrow, there’s a little more of a sophisticated procedure but the recovery time on that is short and the donor would know that [they have] made such a big difference.”

McGlynn said the hope is that the call for people to become registered donors travels beyond the Chatham-Kent and London areas. Besides attending local donor clinics, people willing to register as a donor can visit www.blood.ca.