Kajal Patel Receives Bone Marrow Transplant

Athens, GA- Last Spring, Athens Academy sixth graders gathered together on UGA’s campus with a mission: to help find a bone marrow match for their friend Kajal. Thanks to the students’ efforts, the Spartans and the Dawgs came together to save a little girl’s life.

You have to be eighteen to give bone marrow. Dean of Students Geoffrey Walton says, “They couldn’t do it, but that didn’t deter them. They still were moving forward, and they said, ‘Well who is old enough? And where can we go?’ and ‘We’re going to the University because we know those students will help us out.'”

This process hasn’t only changed the students’ lives. Mothers were gathered at the school today in celebration of this miraculous event. One mother Tracy Bartlett says, “We got the phone call, and I was just elated. That’s the only way to describe it. I went and woke up my daughter, she was asleep, and I woke her up and shared the news with her, and she was elated as well.”

Kajal’s friends have started a brand new project already. It’s called “The Voice Quilt.” Students have been calling a certain number to leave messages of hope and encouragement during her recovery.

Kajal’s cousin Avi shared his message with us. He says, “We hope you’ll be home soon, and everybody in the family is thinking of you, and you’re in our prayers, and we’re all really happy that you found a match.”

Think this story is amazing? It gets better. Kajal’s older brother was the one to donate his marrow to her today.

By: Tess Gilbert and Mary Grace Fisher

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