April 3, 2013 11:01 am
Updated: April 4, 2013 10:59 pm

Four-year-old Montreal girl fights for her life as family seeks bone marrow donor

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MONTREAL — Just two months ago, Jayden Roll was a typical 4-year-old: a happy girl who enjoyed princesses, arts and crafts, and playing with her two younger brothers.

But now, the Mount Royal girl is fighting for her life — and is at the centre of a hastily orchestrated social media campaign for a bone marrow donor that has captured the attention of celebrities and the local community alike.

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Months ago, Warren and Kelly Roll had become concerned over their eldest child’s sudden fatigue and headaches. After blood tests and a bone marrow biopsy, their worst fears were confirmed. On Feb. 11, Jayden was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome, a blood disorder that can be a precursor to leukemia. 

The prognosis is serious. Since her diagnosis, Jayden has already undergone three blood transfusions, with another set for Friday. Her doctors have informed the family that without a bone-marrow transplant, Jayden will die.

“She’s been at home for the last month and a half because we don’t want her to get sick,” her father said.

“We try to do whatever we can do keep her busy, but her spirits are up.”

The challenge now is finding a donor for Jayden. Neither her parents nor her two brothers — Joshua, 3, and Jaxon, 1 — are matches. So Jayden needs a stranger to save her.

To reach out beyond their own circle of family and friends, Jayden’s parents harnessed the power of social media.

The Rolls set up a Facebook group dedicated to Jayden that has amassed more than 1,500 likes. The parents also started a Twitter account.

The CEMT Bone Marrow Drive will take place on April 3 and 4 at the Ben Weider Jewish Community Centre from 4 to 9 p.m. and at Concordia University’s Hall building (1455 de Maisonneuve Blvd. W.) and Richard J. Renaud Science Complex (7141 Sherbrooke St. W.) from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For more information, email Fightforjayden@gmail.com or visit cureforjayden.ca.

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