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07/31/14 –

Dear Tom,

My Jamaican mother is a single mom who raised my older sister, my younger brother and me. My father has not been around since shortly after I was born so she has been on her own for as long as i can remember.

Getting an education has always come first. She put us all through college – university of Florida, Emory and wakes Forest University – never complaining of the financial burden & has always been our number one fan!

I was born with sickle cell and i just turned 26. All of these years, my mom has been by my side to take care of me. This past march, the national institute of health called to notify her that I qualified to be a candidate for an experimental bone marrow transplant that could hopefully be a cure. We had to act fast!

The treatment I am going through began in April and goes through October.  My mom’s employer in Miami has been cool enough to allow her to stay with me for weeks at a time as she faces this huge financial hurdle.

I am unable to drive because of my bone grafts and the various medications – so my mom takes me to and from the N.I.H. She even found an apartment for us stay in that is near the hospital to keep the commute short.

She tells me that we are going to go on a vacation once I complete my treatment. It sounds nice but I know it will take her a minute to get caught up on bills.

THURSDAY MORNING MOM: Helen Duhaney-Bryce  was originally published on