Donor found to assist afflicted wife of Lenoir City mayor

By Hugh G. Willett knoxnews

Lenoir City Mayor Tony R. Aikens, whose wife Brenda was diagnosed with MDS Syndrome several months ago, announced to family and friends this week a donor has been found that will allow treatment to progress.

Myelodysplastic syndromes are disorders of the stem cells in the bone marrow.

Vanderbilt University Medical Center notified the Aikens family this week that a bone marrow transplant match has been found. Brenda Aikens has been on the transplant list for several months. The transplant treatment should be under way by the first of the year, according to a press release.

Aikens in the release expressed appreciation to the community for its support of his wife and family.

"While there is much more testing to be done, with God's help and community support, the family will remain strong through this challenging journey," he said.

Loudon County Sheriff Tim Guider, a close friend of Aikens and first cousin to Brenda Aikens, said that although the news of her condition was at first devastating, faith has been an important part of the family's coping process.

"She has a good attitude and she is a woman of faith. Attitude is 90 percent of it. She will get through this with the prayers of family and friends," Guider said.

Aikens, who also serves as chief deputy of the Sheriff's Office, is running unopposed in the Nov. 6 election for his second term as mayor of Lenoir City.