Jason Overman, 6-year-old cancer patient from Orem, is in fair condition after an Aug. 18 bone-marrow transplant at UCLA Medical Center.
"He is doing well," Mike Burne, medical center spokesman, said Monday. "He has a slight fever, but has had no serious reactions to the new bone marrow yet."Jason suffers from neuroblastoma, a rare form of nerve cancer. After Jason's disease was diagnosed in February, his parents learned their insurance policy would not pay for the transplant - a procedure doctors said was the boy's best chance for survival.
Dozens of community fund-raisers brought in $192,000, which the family hopes will cover most of Jason's hospital expenses.
Lorraine Hill, the boy's aunt, said Jason has had one blood transfusion and was given antibiotics when his fever started. A medical center spokesman said Jason is receiving the standard dosage of the infection-fighting drugs, given to most marrow-transplant patients.
"The doctor told Jane (Jason's mother) that Jason had needed the antibiotics later than usual, which we think is a good sign," Hill said.
"We are encouraged by Jason's progress, but the doctors have said it usually takes about a year before they are sure how successful a transplant was, so this won't be over for awhile."
Jason, however, is getting used to waits.
"He was in his room watching a Christmas movie on TV, and he turned and asked Jane if he could be out of the hospital in time for Christmas," Hill said. Doctors have predicted Jason's hospital stay should last between six weeks and three months.
The staff will watch Jason closely for the next few weeks, when he will be most vulnerable to infection and graft-vs.-host disease. GVHD occurs when donated bone marrow rejects the body that received it. Some degree of the problem strikes about half of all bone-marrow transplant patients, according to health care officials.
"Each case is different, and it is much too early to know if Jason will have a problem with GVHD," Burne said.
Hill said Jason's sister Julie, 17, who donated the marrow, has been released from the medical center.
"She is in good spirits and has visited Jason. She said donating the marrow was not nearly as painful as she had been told it would be."