Atlanta man fights rare blood disorder

ATLANTA (WXIA) -- It's a story of hope.

A mother at her son's bedside as he fights against a deadly and rare blood disease known as MDS.

What makes it so rare? It usually happens to folks who have gone through chemo.

Dylan Martin's grandmother, mother and his brother have all been diagnosed with MDS.

But they have never gone through chemo before.

"He's been doing great," said Dylan's mother, Leigh Ann Martin, "He's a real special person."

Twenty-two year-old Dylan is also a hope scholar and junior at Kennesaw State University.

"He was a junior there studying computers," said his mom.

The vibrant young man, now spending the holiday weekend at Emory Hospital, was diagnosed five years ago with MDS.

He was left with no other choice but to drop out of school. "Hopefully, he'll get back to school," Martin said. "That's what he really wants."

In desperate need of a bone marrow transplant, Dylan came close to losing his life.

"I'll get kind of teary, but very thankful for that," said Martin.

MDS, short for Myelodysplasia is when the bone marrow doesn't function normally and produces an insufficient number of normal blood cells.

And, it's nothing new to the Martin family. In fact, 57 year old Leigh Ann, her 78 year old mother and her oldest son have been diagnosed with the blood disorder.

"I think we are the only possible family with four people," said Martin.

Martin's MDS turned into leukemia and the only way to save her life was through a transplant.

Her mother was diagnosed this year. But Martin refuses to give up hope.

"Certainly, its put a damper on things - I have to be honest and say that but you know thank goodness - I have to be so, thankful," said Martin. "I keep thinking one day, my older son will need a bone marrow transplant and there may be somebody out there who would be a perfect match for him."

Dylan was still in recovery at the time of our interview. But he wants everyone to help by donating bone marrow.

To donate to 'Be the Match' in honor of Dylan and his family, click here.


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