Bone marrow donor found for Galva boy

Doug Boock
Jacob Mundy, 10, is slated to receive a bone marrow transplant in late October.

A bone marrow donor has been found for Jacob Mundy, the 10-year-old Galva boy battling cancer. A transplant is scheduled for Oct. 21.

That’s news Jacob’s parents, Kevin Mundy and Judy Mundy, both of Galva, had awaited several months.

“I was getting antsy because we hadn’t heard anything,” Kevin said Aug. 29. “We finally heard something.”

But the news – which means Jacob will undergo what can be a risky surgery – was greeted with mixed feelings.

“I’m relieved that there’s someone (donor) that can help, (but) I’m scared more,” Judy said Friday.

“It’s scary because of the thought of something happening. But it’s either you do it” or face possible further difficulties, Kevin agreed.

The transplant will be done at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn. Jacob and the family will travel there in late September, to undergo several tests before the surgery. He’ll then receive chemotherapy each of the 10 days immediately preceding the transplant.

The transplant will be done to fight X-linked LymphoproliferativeSyndrome – an illness caused by a deficiency in Jacob’sbody.

“He’s getting cancers because he’s missing a part of his gene system,” Judy explained. “(The transplant) is supposed to help his immune system.”

Jacob could be in Memphis for four months.

“We’ll be there at least two or three months for him to recover,” Judy said.

Whether Kevin will be able to go to Memphis isn’t clear. He’s scheduled to deploy this month to Afghanistan with the National Guard unit in Kewanee. He could be exempted from deploying, due to Jacob’s surgery, but that hasn’t been decided yet.

Meanwhile, Jacob will continue to attend Galva Elementary School, where he’s a fourth grader.

“They said to keep his life as normal as possible so go ahead and send him” to school, Judy said.

Jacob first suffered from serious illness when he was three years old. Burkitt’s Lymphoma was detected. Cancer treatments at the time rendered him healthy. But that illness returned in 2007, causing Jacob to spend several months in the hospital and prevent him from attending the last half of third grade for the 2007-08 school year. Tutoring in the hospital and at home allowed him to complete third grade.

Current tests show that Jacob’s not battling Burkitt’s Lymphoma at this time.

“The Burkitt’s tumor is either too small or actually dead. It’s not showing up that there’s any activity,” Kevin said.

Now the Mundys wait for the transplant, and hope.

“It’s in God’s hands,” Kevin reasoned.