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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Jasmina Anema: Paying Tribute to a Brave Little Girl

Jasmina was only 6 years old when she passed away Jan. 27, 2010. Here she is with her beloved kitty Lucky.

In the space of 1 year Jasmina was diagnosed with Leukemia on January 20th, received a mismatched 9/10 marker transplant in June, then relapsed in September 2009. With the help of supportive transfusions, medicine and more chemo by the third week of October her bone marrow biopsies came back as 0% Leukemic cells. At the end of November Jasmina was rushed back to the hospital suffereing from a swelling of her brain caused by a medication she was taking combined with high blood pressure. By the end of the December the Leukemia was back.

On New Years Eve Thea, Jasmina's mom, found out her Leukemia had split and had become two different types of Leukemia AML and NK. Less then three weeks later the Leukemia had mutated to AMML which is not treatable in post transplant patients.

Jasmina and Thea

Last weekend her online journal said she was having a great time:
"Jasmina had a really nice weekend. She and Isabelle went to see the Tooth Fairy movie on Friday and then Jasmina and Thea ate dinner at a friends house. Saturday Jasmina made delicious strawberry pizza with a friend. On Sunday, Isabelle, Wim and I hung out with her for a few hours. She was happy and in good spirits. Thea's friend brought her adorable puppy, Ruby, over to play with Jasmina and Lucky (her cat). Lucky wasn't so thrilled with this arrangement, which Jasmina found hilarious. It was really nice to hear her laugh so hard."
On Monday, just one day later, Jasmina spiked a fever. On Tuesday x-rays confirmed that she had pneumonia in both lungs. In her weakened condition it was just too much for her little body. The pneumonia didn't respond to the antibiotics and as her breathing became more labored she was moved to ICU. As her lungs began to fill with fluid it became apparent that there was to be no miracle for Jasmina, no happy ending. She was held by her mother and surrounded by loved ones who touched and comforted her. On Wednesday at 7:55 CST Jasmina passed away. Rest in peace little angel :( My thoughts and prayers are with you, your family and friends.

Jasmina lived with 3 kinds of Leukemia, shingles, graft vs. host disease, diabetes, posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome, high blood pressure and a myriad of conditions and complications caused by the leukemia and the treatments that were saving her life. Through it all she smiled, she laughed, she comforted her mother and enjoyed her life as best as she could. She was easily far more courageous then most of us could ever hope to be in the same circumstance.

It was just a few short weeks ago on December 6th that Jasmina was in the Oval Office of the White House meeting and talking to President Barack Obama thanks to the Make a Wish Foundation. She wanted to talk to the President about helping kids with Leukemia. It was the experience of a life time and in her 6 short years she changed the world. Jasmina helped to raise so much awareness about the need for more people to join the National Marrow Donor Program and received lots of publicity that she put to good use to help spread the word. One of the drives held in her name located a donor for another patient in need. Literally thousands of people joined the registry hoping to help save this precious little girl.

I don't even remember how I found her website but one day last year, shortly after Tami became sick, I stumbled upon it and immediately began checking back, following news articles, even saw new stories about her on tv by chance, and found her online journal where all that she endured and conquered was written down for her many friends and supporters to follow her progress as she fought for her life.

Jasmina's story can be read on her Caring Bridge Journal. CLICK HERE to read her journal day by day. If you register you can even offer condolences to her mom and loved ones in her guestbook.

If you would like to join the National Marrow Donor Program to try to help another patient in need:

PLEASE CLICK HERE to order a home test kit online

Or CLICK HERE to use the zip code locater to find a live drive near you

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