Colorado Soldier Desperate For Bone Marrow Transplant

DENVER (CBS4) – A Colorado National Guardsman who is dedicated to serving his country is now calling on others for help.

Staff Sgt. Mark Jenkins needs a bone marrow transplant but he can’t find a match, so as time runs out he’s speaking out and hoping people will hear him and help.

“We have a tremendous question mark in our lives,” Mark said.

“I am worried; everyday,” Mark’s wife Darlene said.

Mark is a full-time soldier with the Colorado Army National Guard. He’s also a leukemia patient. It started with a rare blood disorder that evolved into a rare blood cancer. He’s anxious about how it will end.

“When you’re 40 it’s pretty shocking to hear someone tell you that you have five to 10 years to live,” Mark said. “The only cure is a bone marrow transplant.”

The search for a donor began in September, but four months later there is still no match.

“I was just told, ‘We’re sorry.’ And I sat in my car and I cried,” Mark said.

The problem may be the donor pool. People with diverse racial or ethnic heritage make up just 28 percent of the Be The Match Registry, with African-Americans making up just seven percent.

“So basically if you’re African-American and you’re looking for a match it’s like looking for a needle in a haystack,” Jessica Maitland with the Bonfils Blood Center said.

mark jenkins1 Colorado Soldier Desperate For Bone Marrow Transplant

Mark Jenkins (credit: CBS)

The Jenkins’ want people to know it just takes a cheek swab to sign up, and donating bone marrow can often be as simple as giving blood.

“I believe the match is out there and I’m trying to reach that person,” Darlene said.

Meanwhile, Mark has been trying drug after drug to control his cancer.

“You can save a life. It’s just as simple as that; you can save a life,” Mark said.

The Jenkins are planning a community bone marrow drive for April 14 at the Off Broadway Cafe, but anyone can have their cheek swabbed at any Bonfils Blood Center. Visit the Bonfils Blood Center website to find out more information.

LINK: National Be The Match Registry

  • Todd O

    I told myself, I’ll do it, before I realized I was disqualified by race.
    Don’t just expect someone else to do it, help this guy out.

    • Johnny

      Isn’t bone marrow, bone marrow? I’d go in and get checked for compatibility in a heartbeat. I am also in CA, can I get checked her to help him out?

      • Darlene

        Sure, you can go to and register online they will send you the swab kit.

  • McKenzie Vallot

    Todd O,
    Even if you may not be a match for Mark, you may help someone else in the same boat. It is more likely for a person with a multi-ethnic background to be a match to Mark, but there IS still a chance that someone who is not A.A. to be a match. When Mark initially was told that he had four possible matches, they were not all African-American. After the blood work was analyzed, none of the people ended up being a match. Therefore, this is why the Jenkins’ family is wanting everyone, no matter the race to be tested to see if they are match. This news report was mean’t to inform the general public about Mark’s condition and to also encourage A.A’s and other people to join the registry. They say that A.A people only make up 7% of the bone marrow registry, so it is important to put that out there.


    AMERICANS STUPIDLY COW DOWN TO “JEWS” WHO CONSIDER US DONKEYS. A major Jewish religious figure in Israel has likened non-Jews to donkeys and beasts of burden, saying the main reason for their (OUR) very existence is to serve Jews (IN OTHER WORDS, TO FIGHT THEIR WARS FOR THEM).“Non-Jews were born only to serve us. Without that, they have no place in the world-only to serve the People of Israel.” Google it, and you’ll find this is the general “jewish” attitude toward all Gentiles, AMERICANS INCLUDED.

    DEAN BERRY MINISTRIES: “When a government outlaws ‘terrorism’, they’re planning something for which ‘terrorism’ is the only recourse.”

    • ron

      May I ask what that possibly has to do with this??

  • ron

    I sincerely hope Mr.Jenkins finds his match. My wife has been fighting ALL (Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia) and we have been searching for a match since July. We wait and wait. I totally understand the frustration and despair that Mr. Jenkins feels. We did a drive in January in which we signed up about 75 people. I hope to do another one soon. In addition to praying for my wife’s match, I want so bad to match someone and be able to help save a life. I really hope it happens…

    • McKenzie Vallot

      I hope your wife finds a match as well. Sending prayers your way.

  • Kathy Hames

    Please let Mark Jenkins read:

    Please let me know what match is needed. I will get togeather with my family
    and friends in Texas. Maybe we can be a fit for you. You have touched my heart and soul with this, so please let me try go help.

    Can I go to my Dr. here in Littleton,CO ?

    • Darlene

      You can get on the Bone Marrow Donor registry by visiting any Bonfils location, attending a bone marrow drive or going to to register online. You can also simply click one of the two links provided just below the end of the story.

  • Senora T

    Thank you for putting that out there McKenzie.

  • Coachlover23

    What a wonderful and relatively simple way to give back and possibly help someone in need! This story and others on the website touched my heart. I plan to contact Bonfils and try to organize a Be The Match drive here in Denver in the next two months. I pray that matches are found for all that wait!

  • Todd R.Melcher

    I’ll get tested. I don’t know if I will do much good, as I am caucasion and 63 years old but since I work on Ft. Carson, if you email me some info I will try to spread the word.

  • Demetra Rodgers

    Good Evening there are 50 inmate in the Limon Correctional facilitity in Denver Colorado that is willing to get tested.My brother Walter Lacederick Rodgers have gathered up 50 inmates to help Mark Jenkins.Please give me a call at 254-768-1028.
    Demetra Rodgers.

  • runoberk

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