Jackson County Surgeon battling leukemia gets two bone marrow matches

Dr. Jeremy Simpler with his family. (Photo source: WLOX News)
Dr. Jeremy Simpler with his family. (Photo source: WLOX News)
Dr. Jeremy Simpler with his wife Jan Simpler. (Photo source: WLOX News)
Dr. Jeremy Simpler with his wife Jan Simpler. (Photo source: WLOX News)

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - A Jackson County surgeon at Singing River Hospital, who was in need of a bone marrow transplant will not have to wait any longer. Doctor Jeremy Simpler said two bone marrow matches have been found for him.

Doctor Jeremy and Jan Simpler had more to celebrate than just Labor Day. This summer, Dr. Simpler was diagnosed with rare form of Leukemia and needed a bone marrow transplant.

"It was certainly those life changing type of things that you find out. It is a shock for us," Simpler said.

While Simpler began his cancer treatment at Vanderbilt University Hospital, his friends and family began hosting several bone marrow drives hoping to find a match for him.

"The best chance for a match is a sibling. I am an only child and Jeremy is an only child, so the only chance for a match is the registry," Jan Simpler said.

"It was a scary time to go through, just waiting on a call to find out whether you have a chance of getting cured from this," Dr. Simpler said.

After lots praying and hoping, The Simplers said that a call finally came Thursday that not one, but two prefect matches were available for the doctor, who has helped save so many lives.

"It was joy. It was just a blessing,"  Dr. Simpler said.

"It is a 40 to 70 percent chance that you will find an absolute perfect match, just one. We were fortunate to find two," Jan Simpler said.

The news comes at a great time. Dr. Simpler's wife is now pregnant with their third child.

"This is another chance for him to be here with me and my children," Jan Simpler said.

Although the mission to find a bone marrow match is complete, the fight continues.

"It is tough road ahead after the bone marrow transplant. I have to stay in Tennessee in the neighborhood of my transplant center for three months at least. So, we are going to be displaced for a while and it will be hard on the family. We definitely need continued prayers, but I am thankful for everybody who has supported us," Dr. Simpler said.

The family hopes their story will encourage others to become a donor and help provide the gift of life for someone else who really needs it. Simpler will soon start another round of chemotherapy before moving forward with the transplant.

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