Jeremiah Ilges
It's Official, After 15 Years of fighting Aplastic Anemia, I found out a few weeks ago that my bone marrow has completely failed. My bone marrow cellularity is now less than 1%. Calculate 100 minus your age: this should be your cellularity. Mine should be 70, not 0.5.

What does this mean? It means I must immediately have a Bone Marrow Transplant, or face a slow death over the next 6-12 months. I'm ready for a fight... join me in battle.

Here's my history:
I grew up in a small town in Ohio of about 80-100 residents. There was a landfill just a few miles away. The landfill had been used to dump toxic waste from a nearby Navistar Truck Plant such as paint, paint thinners, and motor oil in 50 gallon drums. (NEWS Story below) The toxins in my water supply as a child, I would later learn, caused my bone marrow to malfunction. 

In 1997, at age 15, I was diagnosed with Severe Aplastic Anemia at Children's Hospital in Dayton, Ohio, and had to receive ATG/CYCLOSPORIN chemo therapy to try and get my immune system to function properly again. This treatment was only successful for less than 12 months, and my counts dropped again.

Over the next decade I went through spells of feast or famine. I had surgeries to take out my spleen (2004) that was destroying good blood, a craniotomy in 2000 and part of my left lung was removed in 2001 because it kept collapsing. In February 2006 my bone marrow seemed to go into arrest and I was charted for a bone marrow transplant in the summer of 2006. This was the same time I was introduced to Juice Plus. Within 4 months of taking Juice Plus Capsules on a daily basis, my counts had come up so well that I no longer qualified to have the transplant. This was Great news, and for the next 6 years, I lived a pretty healthy and active life. I never had a full recovery, but my counts were high enough to be able to function normally.

In June of 2012 however, it became apparent to my physicians that my good fortune had come to an abrupt end. After seeing a steady decline in my blood work from April-June 2012, I was called to my doctors office and told that my counts were so low that my only option was to get a transplant. I had been on drug therapy called Danazol for the last two years and it has stopped being effective. Nothing can stop my marrow from completely failing now, and that's exactly what it is doing. My likelihood of survival without a transplant is 0%. With a transplant it's between 60-80%. I'll take those odd's and fight on! With your help I can win!

Now I would like your help. I would like for anyone who is willing to be a bone marrow donor to please visit www.marrow.org and register to be a bone marrow donor. The process is simple, you swab your mouth 4-6 times with a Q-Tip and your dna is tested to see if you could be a match. No needles, no pain. It will take 5 minutes of your time. You might not be a match for me, but if you are a match to someone else, it will change their life. Think of me as your brother in a fight for my life. Will you please reach out your hand?

Register to be a Bone Marrow Donor today!

Watch this video on how to become a bone marrow donor!

The Tremont Landfill news story: I'm actually in the broadcast!

Photos of my journey...


Please help me and other's by going to www.MARROW.org to see if you could be my match. Every person who chooses to become a donor is extremely important to helping me and others with similar illness. Won't you please sign up today?