Jax is just like any other six-year-old boy. He loves trucks and cars, playing video games and being outside, but his life is anything but normal. Jax is battling an extremely rare autoimmune disease called IPEX, which affects one in 1.6 million people.
When Jax was a baby, he never got sick. His mom, Missy, said he was growing and thriving until he started breathing oddly as a toddler. That’s when Jax was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. His health issues continued with extreme and strange reactions to common illnesses like the flu. Missy had so many questions but was left without answers.
Because of his health issues, Jax’s family has been quarantining for his safety since 2017 before the pandemic even began. “I always think that March 13, 2020, the world then felt like what we have been feeling like," Missy told Pittsburgh’s Action News 4.
It wasn’t until October 2021 that doctors finally identified IPEX. Now, Jax needs a bone marrow transplant to cure him of this life-threatening disease. Currently, there are no matches for him on the Be The Match Registry.
Missy is sharing Jax’s story to raise awareness about his condition and encourage others to join the registry to potentially save the lives of kids like Jax. She shares updates to the Be The Match for Jax Facebook page to help spread the word. "We're going to fight this, and I'm going to be his armor and we're going to do it," Missy told Pittsburgh’s Action News 4.
Luckily, Missy isn’t alone in her efforts to search for a matching donor for Jax. The Pittsburgh community has rallied around their family to offer support and plan registration drives around town. The Northern Regional Police Department even showed their support by holding a sign that read “Jax Strong.”
The support has even spread outside of the United States. “We are pretty much scouring the earth to find somebody. We have been lucky to find some lovely, lovely people in Mexico, and they’re rallying for Jax because of his Mexican descent,” Missy told CBS Pittsburgh.
So far, there have been over 800 registrations in Jax’s honor, but his search continues. Anyone who is 18-40 years old can register to see if they are a match for him. Text “Jax” to 61474 or visit join.bethematch.org/jax to sign up.