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Son of Columbia firefighter scheduled for major surgery to correct blood disorder

The toughest days now lie ahead for one couple in the CFD fire family as their 3-year-old son will likely receive a bone marrow transplant within the next week.

“I’m scared and nervous for different reasons. I’m scared for him…just not being able to explain to him what’s getting ready to happen,” said Courtney Nuovo.

Firefighter Mark Nuovo and his wife Courtney traveled to Atlanta this week. There their 3-year-old son James will undergo a bone marrow transplant at an area hospital.

Nuovo and her husband Mark traveled with their son James to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta this week. There he will receive the bone marrow transplant after going through several days of chemotherapy.

At three years old James is currently living with Hypocellular Myelodysplastic Syndrome. It’s an extremely rare genetic disorder that disrupts his body’s ability to properly form blood cells.

As a result the Nuovos say their child’s immune system is incredibly fragile and he’s at an elevated risk to develop aggressive leukemia.

At this point they have been advised that the only solution is to transplant new genetic material into their son to help correct the disorder.

“I’m actually just nervous what’s going to happen,” Courtney Nuovo said, “not every day somebody has a bone marrow transplant.”

“We’re looking forward to getting him better to where he can go out and enjoy life as a normal child,” said Mark Nuovo, who has been a firefighter with CFD for many years.

“It’s second nature now just trying to protect him from germs,” he added.

The Nuovos say they faced a long waiting period so doctors could find a bone marrow match for their son. At this point two potential donors have been lined up for the transplant.

After the surgery James will likely have to remain in Atlanta for several months to recover.

“I’m just ready for him to go out, play and not have to worry about ‘is he gonna get sick..wash your hands’…let him be a regular boy child,” Courtney Nuovo said.

“I can’t wait for him to be able to enjoy things that he hasn’t even been able to enjoy,” she added.

The couple says costs associated with their son’s treatment has been and will continue to be substantial.

If you would like to offer support to the couple by making a financial contribution, click here.

A Spaghetti Dinner to benefit the Nuovo family is scheduled for Saturday October 20, 2018 at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in West Columbia from 12 p.m. until 2 p.m. The cost of a dinner is $10.