Jaime Scaggs had just turned 39 when what she thought was a cold turned out to be Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML). Jaime says,
Your life turns upside down when you hear CANCER. Everything changes for you and your family in an instant.
AML affects the body’s ability to produce red blood cells, white blood cells, or platelets. It progresses rapidly, and can spread to the brain and spinal cord, skin, and gums.
Over the next year I underwent three rounds of chemotherapy, total body irradiation, months in the hospital, hours and hours of blood and platelet transfusions, all leading to a lifesaving cord blood transplant.
The intense chemotherapy to treat the cancer destroyed Jaime’s bone marrow. She needed a stem cell transplant to replace her immune system but wasn’t able to find a compatible bone marrow donor. Fortunately, a new mom had made the decision to donate her baby’s umbilical cord blood to a public bank 12 years earlier, and this donation was a match for Jaime.
On March 14, 2014, Jaime received her lifesaving stem cell transplant.
The journey doesn’t end there. This battle results in your body being unable to produce your own blood cells (red/white/platelets) while you recover, sometimes for years.
There were extended periods of time when I had daily transfusions.
Jaime received more than eight gallons of blood components over the course of her treatment.
Jaime and her family, friends, and co-workers (“Team Jaime”) have participated in The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Big Climb at Columbia Tower in Seattle for the past three years. Just over a year after her cord blood transplant, Jaime completed the climb. She is one of the honorees at the 2016 event on March 20.
Team Jaime hosted a blood and bone marrow drive at Columbia Center on February 20 to raise awareness about the need for blood and bone marrow donors.
The drive registered 34 donors, with 15 first-time donors, and added eight potential bone marrow donors to the Be The Match registry.
Jaime is grateful for everyone who donated at the drive and the 64 people who saved her life during her treatment for AML.
This all would not have been possible without people just like you taking the time to make a difference by donating blood and platelets and the work of Bloodworks Northwest.