I am writing in response to your speculation about one of our brothers, "Justin". For your information, Justin Legg is a graduate of Class 234(with very little research you will see him on Discovery Channel), was my boat crew leader, and is highly respected as an officer, seasoned operator, and as a fellow Team Guy. Please give him and the rest of us (his brothers/ fellow active duty SEALs) the courtesy and remove this negative statement from your website.
Lord knows Justin has a hard enough fight without having to deal with something like this. V/R, MA1(SEAL)Travis Lively/ Class 234
Doc Riojas' note: Our sincerest apologies for the grave error. All negative statements have been removed. FYI: The keepers of the SEAL Archieves did not have his full name, they were not able to find his name on the archieves. Thank you Travis , for your email and correcting our information. We hope Justin has found a donor and is on his way to total remission of the Leukemia.
Family, Navy team up to find marrow donor
Navy SEAL from Spotswood was recently diagnosed with leukemia
BY MARY ANNE ROSS
|Navy SEAL LT. Justin
Donor match found for local Navy Seal
BY MARY ANNE ROSS
Doc Riojas note: "Praise the Lord!"
Not the million-dollar one ... the bone marrow lottery.
In June, Justin, a Spotswood native whose last name is being withheld at the request of the U.S. Navy, was diagnosed with a fast-growing cancer called acute lymphocyte leukemia. Many people die within months of being diagnosed with the disease.
Justin's best chance of survival was a bone marrow stem-cell transplant. Usually, this can be provided by a family member, but neither one of his siblings was a match, and Justin and his family were left hoping for a miracle. The odds were one in 25,000 that a stranger could provide the bone marrow transplant that Justin needed.
Last week, he learned that he had not only found one match, but two others were available as backups.
"I hit the bone marrow lotto jackpot," Justin wrote in an e-mail posted on the Spotswood borough Web site.
Justin, 27, is well known in town. He was president and salutatorian of his high school class, and an accomplished athlete in track, football and wrestling, for which he was team captain. He became a Navy Seal in 2002 and served a seven-month combat tour of duty in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
When people learned of his situation, there was a great outpouring of support. In July, a one-day donor search was held at Spotswood High School, the first of several held by the Navy around the country. Some 1,300 people showed up to register as a donor in Spotswood alone. Justin sent the e-mail to his hometown Web site to thank everyone for their help and support.
But it was not just his friends and family that were concerned about Justin.
Suzanne Brockman, a New York Times best-selling author who has written two series of popular novels about the Navy Seals, featured Justin's story on her Web site. She encouraged fans to have bone marrow drives, and provided a link to a blog called "I'm a swabbie" that lists the locations of different drives. The name of the blog is a play on words. The term swabbie is a slang expression for a sailor; the way individuals are tested to be a bone marrow donor is through a swab to the inside of the cheek.
Jan Albertie, of Los Banos, Calif., is one of Brockman's fans. Albertie, a personnel manager for a software consulting company and the wife of an ex-Navy man, has never met Justin.
"When I heard that there was a Navy SEAL in trouble, I knew I had to do something to help," she said.
She decided to have her first drive at the Stanford vs. Navy football game in San Jose.
She was able to register 33 donors and has six more drives scheduled. She has been working with the C.W Bill Young Department of Defense Marrow Donor Program.
"They make it easy. All I have to do is have everyone give a swab, document it and send it back to them for processing," Albertie said.
Eddy Medina, senior recruiter for that program, said he thinks it's wonderful when someone like Justin is able to find a match, but it's important to continue having drives because so many other people can be helped. He noted that volunteers need to be healthy and between the ages of 18 and 60.
Justin still has a long medical ordeal ahead of him. He will be undergoing radiation treatment, chemotherapy and almost a full month of quarantine as his immune system recovers. He and his wife, Suzanne, will be moving from Missisisppi to Seattle.
Unfortunately, his illness is not the first hardship these newlyweds have faced in the past year. Justin and Suzanne lost all their belongings when their home was hit by Katrina last September. They had just finished renovations and had moved back into their home when Justin was diagnosed.
An organization called Soldiers Angels has set up a fund for Justin and his family to help defray expenses not covered by the Navy. Its Web site is www.soldiersangels.
For more information about the C.W. Bill Young Department of Defense Marrow Donor programs, go to www.dodmarrow.
com. Anyone wanting to read Justin's posting, can visit Spotswood's site at www.spotswoodboro.com.