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Seven-year-old is scheduled for a bone marrow transplant

by: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - Josie Jett, a 7-year-old from Estacada, has faced a number of medical hardships and spent Christmas in the hospital.The dawning of a new year gives people the chance to reflect on what they hope to accomplish for the following 12 months. In the case of Estacada resident Scott Jett, his resolution is very simple: to get his 7-year-old daughter, Josie, back home.

Life for the Jett family took on complications last July when they discovered that Josie had unusual sores all over her. Josie was brought to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland and spent 36 days there as specialists struggled to diagnose her condition.

Estacada residents rallied around the Jetts, with a bounce house fundraiser and a pancake breakfast put on by the fire department, helping the family pay the many bills that began piling up.

Josie spent Christmas in the hospital, having just started her chemotherapy. Her official diagnosis is fanconi anemia.

“This poor kid has endured the rarest forms of disease,” Scott Jett said. “She’s been in and out of the hospital more times than we can keep track of.”

A bone marrow donor was found and determined to be a good match. It was originally hoped that Josie would begin chemotherapy around Dec. 15, but complications arose. Josie came down with a high temperature for several days before going back to the hospital.

Since July, Scott Jett said, Josie has had five bone marrow biopsies and “every scan you can think of.” He estimates that she’s had at least 15 blood transfusions in that time.

“I don’t know what will happen day to day, and that’s a frightening thing. It’s an unbelievable nightmare,” Scott Jett said. “Your whole world basically ceases to exist. It’s 24-7 heart wrenching. It’s devastation. I can’t even put it into words.”

Despite her many health challenges, Josie remains optimistic. She’s taken up beading as a hobby to help pass the hours of hospitalization, and Scott Jett estimates that she’s made around 100 bracelets and necklaces. She also spends a lot of time drawing and coloring.

“She’s doing phenomenal right now. Everybody is really pleased with how she’s progressed so far,” Scott Jett said. “The kids are the brave ones. The resilience she’s shown through all of this is absolutely amazing. She has a heart of gold.”

Scott Jett praises the staff of Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, where Josie has been staying, and the community of Estacada for all of its support through this difficult period. He said that the family is anxious for the transplant to happen, but most importantly, wants Josie back home as soon as possible.

“All any of us want is for her to be out of the hospital and moving forward,” he said. “She’s just a trooper. She’s an incredible kid.”

Donations can be made to the Josie Jett fund at Key Bank or U.S. Bank.

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