Like most siblings, Julia Jenkins, 13, doesn't always get along with her three younger brothers, but the Atlanta teen knows that she'd do anything for them - and she has.
When Julia was just in second grade, she donated bone marrow to two of her younger brothers - on two separate occasions.
In 2008, Julia's younger brother Will, then just 2-and-a-half years old, was diagnosed with a rare genetic immune disorder called X-linked lymphoproliferative disease, referred to as XLP. Soon after, John, 6, and Matthew, 2, were diagnosed as well.
"I had asked the Lord, 'Please don't let it be cancer,'" said mother Christy Jenkins. "But then when it turned to be cancerous, I had to change my perspective and say, 'Thank you that's it's curable. If you get it in time, it's curable, you can fight it.'"
Doctors discovered that Julia was a perfect match for John and Matthew, and asked her to donate. Though she wasn't sure what donating bone marrow would entail, she said yes. "Because they're my brothers," she told FOX 5.
Julia was admitted to Cincinnati Children's Hospital and had bone marrow gathered from her hip. Matthew's body initially resisted Julia's cells, so she donated again a year later. Though she wasn't a match for her younger brother Will, he received a donation from a young woman from Texas.
Three years later, all three of her brothers are healthy. Julia jokes that her brothers "owe her big," but she wouldn't think twice about helping them again.
"It's like a good feeling," she said, "They're alive because of you."
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