Jenny Kuzma's Story
Jenny Kuzma was 4 years old when she was diagnosed with CML at a regular pediatric visit. (Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia usually presents in adulthood and has no known cure except for a successful bone marrow transplant.) Jenny was treated as an outpatient at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo with oral chemotherapy for the next 8 years. This young girl was able to lead a somewhat normal life of an elementary age student except for the weekly blood tests and frequent bone marrow aspirations.
In the summer of 1989 it was decided that since her remission times were becoming fewer and shorter, the only option left was an experimental bone marrow transplant. She and her mother went to Sloan – Kettering Hospital in NYC for the procedure. It required a 4month stay due to complications and infections. Jenny returned home in December in time for Christmas. She returned to school part time as a 7th grader at Byron-Bergen Middle School.
In May 1990, spots were discovered on her lungs and she again was hospitalized. The bone marrow transplant had not been successful and she died at 13 in June 1990. A 5k race has been held in her honor; the proceeds of which go to a scholarship given to an 8thgrade student at Byron-Bergen who fulfills the requirements of the reward. This year’s proceeds will fund the scholarship and help support Genesee County Young Life.