Barring a last-minute cancellation, the bone-marrow transplant Utahns bought for a 6-year-old Orem cancer patient should be performed Thursday.
Jason Overman was scheduled to receive marrow from his sister Julie, 17, at the UCLA Medical Center Thursday afternoon."It's a relatively simple process," Vickicq Beck, medical center spokesman, said Wednesday.
Beck said the procedure would take two or three hours and would be no harder for Jason than a blood transfusion. Jason will be awake for the procedure.
Jason has spent the past week receiving massive amounts of radiation and chemotherapy to kill microscopic cancer and defective bone marrow, Beck said.
Jason was diagnosed in February as suffering from neuroblastoma, a rare form of nerve cancer. When the Overmans' insurance company refused to pay for a bone marrow transplant - Jason's best chance for survival - the family turned to the community for help. Dozens of fund-raisers were sponsored by everyone from grade-school students to Utah State Prison inmates.
Their efforts raised $192,000. The bill for Jason's hospital stay is expected to be between $155,000 and $200,000, barring complications. Doctors' fees are not included in the estimate.
"Thursday's procedure is nothing compared to what will come in the next few weeks," Beck said. The UCLA Medical Center staff has done more than 500 marrow transplants since 1973, she said.
Julie will remain in West Los Angeles for about a week after the painful procedure of donating marrow. Jason will stay in the medical center for six weeks to three months.