Children’s Leukemia League 2014 – Quentin Murray,
Gary Solomon, Jr. and CLL President Quentin Murray.
The Solomon Group graciously donated an Apple IPad Air for the CLL to
Quentin Murray is an 11-year-old 5th-grader at Lafayette
Academy Charter where he excels at math and science. Quentin has played
Upward basketball for the past four years and loves to color and draw. He
also likes to play his Nintendo DS, jam to music and watch cartoons.
Quentin, who was diagnosed with ALL seven years ago this July, celebrated
his sixth-year transplant anniversary in March. The transplant, which cured
his leukemia, was courtesy of his little sister Jory, an unexpected
pregnancy, who served as his bone marrow donor.
Jory Murray is a 6-year-old straight-A student. She will be a first-grader
at LAC. Like her brother, she enjoyed Head of the Class status several times
last school year. Jory recently completed her fourth year of dance, studying
ballet at New Orleans Dance Academy. She is looking forward to switching
things up a bit to include jazz and tap. Jory also likes fashion, playing
school and protecting Quentin.
As President, Quentin has set a fund-raising goal of $10,000.
Here is Quentin’s Story….
Charming and rambunctious Quentin had always been a perfectly healthy kid.
By four, the extent of his medical history had been one ear infection and
three stitches to his right pinky finger following a tussle with a bar
stool. Suddenly, in the summer of 2007, he was hit, first, with a mysterious
and recurrent swollen eye and, then, various aches and pains across the
body. The swelling would come and go, and at first, so would the pain. But
eventually, it became a mainstay. By the end of the summer, Quentin wanted
to partake in neither of the things he had been looking forward to all year
– summer camp and being the ringer bearer in his uncle’s wedding because his
“legs hurt too much to walk.”
Though many dismiss Quentin’s mystifying ailments to a head start on sibling
rivalry, deep down inside, I recognized the truth and severity of the
matter. My child was sick, or else, he wouldn’t be so adamant about it. I
devoted all my energy to getting to the source of the pain. After countless
doctor visits, specialist visits, and even an MRI, Quentin was diagnosed
with leukemia on July 12, 2007. He was looking at a 5-7 year chemotherapy
treatment protocol. But what happened next slashed that estimate to a
fraction of that time. We were approached about a clinical trial involving
collecting and storing the placental blood of Quentin’s unborn baby sister.
Though Quentin went into remission about a month after he was diagnosed, a
week later, his chromosome test came back, showing that he was in the
highest percentage bracket to relapse. His doctor deemed a transplant
necessary. Before we turned to the national registry, his doctor decided to
wait until Jory was born to determine if she would be a match. Transplant
matches in siblings occur only 25% of the time, and it's even rarer for
girl-to-boy or boy-to-girl to match.
Not only was Jory a match, she was the most perfect match possible. Our
doctors said to have a sibling already on the way be a match is the
equivalent of winning the lottery. Though Quentin was transplanted last of
five patients undergoing the procedure at the hospital at that time, he
started making new cells the fastest. This is likely largely due to cord and
placental blood transplant, of which Quentin is the first in the world to
receive. Based on what occurred with Quentin’s treatment, he’s being tagged
as the boy who launched a thousand cures, as Celgene, the company that
banked Jory’s cord and placenta blood and holds the exclusive rights to this
technology, are using what they saw happen for him with stroke, Crohn’s
disease and rheumatoid arthritis patients. That is just the beginning.
The Summer of Superheroes and the Making of Iron Boy
To help Quentin reach his fundraising goal, please consider a donation to
League. To make a donation, please contact Anne Favret, President LLL, email@example.com
or mail your donations in care of Children’s Leukemia League to Ladies
Leukemia League, PO Box 9355, Metairie, LA 70055-9355