Potential stem cell donors step up for Jocelyn

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

A Chatham family is overwhelmed with the amount of support they have received as community members rally behind 21-year-old Jocelyn McGlynn.

McGlynn was diagnosed with acute myelomonocytic leukemia (AMML) in November 2018 and is in need of a stem cell transplant.

At the most recent blood donor clinic and swab event, held in Chatham on January 8, 108 people were swabbed to become potential stem cell donors.

Family friend Christine Canniff, helped organize the donation clinics for the McGlynn family. She said in addition to those who were swabbed, 194 people donated blood. McGlynn’s family members were also at the clinic to donate blood and were able to see the turnout.

“I think, that’s what gives them hope — not just for Jocelyn but for all the people out there who are in need of stem cells,” said Canniff.

“Jocelyn is back in London this week for another round of chemo,” she said. “Her last chemo result came back showing that she is in remission so that means now she is ready for the stem cell donor.”

Now, it’s a matter of finding a match. However, Canniff said McGlynn is staying positive throughout the process.

It will take approximately six weeks to process the swabs from Wednesday’s clinic to see if someone from the event is a match for McGlynn.

“Three out of four matches are male and apparently only 22 per cent of the database is male,” said Canniff. “So there is a real need for stem cells, especially from young men between the ages of 17 and 35.”

Canniff said she encourages people who are willing to donate stem cells, to register, either online or through a nearby clinic.

“On behalf of the [McGlynn family] I just want to thank the community for stepping forward,” she said. “We have had an overwhelming response of volunteers come out, willing to help and make donations.”

Cannif also mentioned that they will likely hold more donor clinics in honour of Jocelyn in the future.