Niskayuna community eclipses fundraising goal for girl facing prospect of bone marrow transplant

Girl looking at camera

Erin Jasinski, 4, will undergo a bone marrow transplant.

NISKAYUNA — The Niskayuna community has banded together to raise over $50,000 for a local 4-year-old girl who is facing the prospect of a bone marrow transplant.

Erin Jasinski, 4, was diagnosed with Aplastic anemia in December, with the rare condition occurring as a result of bone marrow damage in a patient.

With the Jasinski family receiving care for their daughter at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, a GoFundMe fundraising campaign for the girl’s medical bills was started by Schenectady resident Kelsey Holland on Jan. 19.

The campaign began with a goal of raising $15,000 for Jasinski’s care, a milestone that was reached within 24 hours as the Niskayuna community rallied around the local child. The goal was then set for $50,000, with that milestone passed within 10 days.

As of Friday, the fundraising effort had raised $50,856 from 469 donations, eclipsing the second goal.

“This is just another example of Niskayuna being small but mighty,” Niskayuna Town Board member Jessica Brennan said of the campaign on Tuesday. “When there is someone in need, people come together. When there’s a common goal, I’ve seen the businesses in our town participating and people sharing on social media. No one really needs to know the family, they just know that someone needs help and everyone is willing to pitch in any way.”

The Broken Inn restaurant in Niskayuna announced on Jan. 23 that the establishment would raise funds to help pay for Jasinski’s medical care throughout the month of February, with 3 percent of the restaurant’s profits set to be donated to the family. The restaurant is also collecting checks for the cause for residents who prefer not to donate online.

Holland, a Jasinski family friend who works at the Broken Inn, said she was blown away by the community response to the Jasinski family’s story.

“Knowing the bills that they already had from Albany Med and that coupled with travel expenses and stuff, we kind of knew that we’d need way more than $15,000,” Holland said on Wednesday. “But when we upped it to $50,000 I didn’t think we would get that. So it was a complete surprise and a very welcome one.”

Aplastic anemia is a rare blood disorder that is diagnosed in less than 20,000 cases per year in the United States, with a five-year survival rate of approximately 80% for patients under the age of 20, according to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

“This is a cause that hits most people’s hearts,” Brennan said. “Most people can relate to being a parent or having someone you love being sick and having a feeling that there’s not something that you can do to fix it, but feeling like there is a step you can take and it feels better. Especially if there are times that the community supported you and you wanted to give back and pay it forward.”




Categories: News, Schenectady County, Your Niskayuna

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