Friends organize sale for Bradley

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 11, 2011

No distance was too far for Mandy Bradley to go to get her bone marrow transplant.

The Andalusia native who was diagnosed last year with aplastic anemia received her much-needed bone marrow transplant two months ago from an European donor, family members said this week.

And now friends and family are asking locals to step up and help raise money for her this weekend.

In October 2010, Bradley began experiencing unexplainable bruising and was diagnosed with human parvovirus.

When Bradley did not respond to treatments, doctors discovered the aplastic anemia, which is a rare disorder that can be fatal. The body does not produce new stem cells that make blood cells.

Prior to Bradley’s transplant, she had to receive blood and platelets every day, and was also required to under go chemotherapy and a high-dose radiation to prepare her body for the transplant, family members said.

While undergoing these procedure, Bradley developed a severe lung infection and was placed on a ventilator in ICU.

Family members said her parents were told there was “no turning back, and that they had to go forth with the transplant.”

Bradley received her transplant March 9.

Amanda Bradley is shown with her husband, Chris, and three children -- Sara, Evan and Emily.

After several days, Bradley began to respond favorably to the treatments for the lung infection, and though the family wouldn’t know for 30 days if the transplant “took,” family said she a “seemed to be getting better.”

“Mandy developed graft versus host disease, which although painful and very itchy, was a great sign to the doctors,” a family member said. “It showed that her body had recognized a foreign being within her body and was beginning to fight it. Last Tuesday, they did a biopsy and on Sunday gave us the news that we had all been praying for – the transplant had taken and was working.”

Bradley has to stay in Nashville for at least 100 days before she will be allowed to return home, and then she will probably not return to work for a while.

Family members said this has put a tremendous financial strain on the family, and her mother, Kathryn Williamson, has taken a leave of absence from her job to be in Nashville with Bradley.

Her father travels back and forth to see about them, while her in-laws take care of Bradley’s three small children, and her husband continues to work to provide the needed insurance.

The insurance does not cover all of the medications Bradley needs. In fact, one prescription alone is $500 a month, and it does not fully cover the apartment Bradley and her mother are living in Nashville.

To help raise money for the family’s expenses, family and friends have organized a yard sale and bake sale this Saturday at Salem Baptist Church in the Carolina Community.

Organizers are asking the community to step up and donate items for the yard sale and the bake sale.

For more information, call Carolyn Dean at 222-2072, Connie Rose at 488-4822, Patricia Cox at 469-5180 or Traci Wallace at 542-3361.