Jeffrey Horne

Jeffrey was born on March 5, 1987, a beautiful, red headed baby with huge blue eyes. His younger brother, Brian, followed him by just 17 months, September 18, 1988. Brian was just as beautiful, with thick dark brown hair and gorgeous brown eyes. From the time they were walking, they did everything together. They were constant, lifelong companions and very best friends.

Jeffrey and Brian attended Mt. Vernon Presbyterian School together, and, when Jeffrey graduated from Middle School in the 8th grade, together they moved to Mt. Pisgah Christian School. Jeffrey was in the 9th grade and Brian in the 8th. Both Jeffrey and Brian played Varsity Football at Mt. Pisgah, and Jeffrey also ran cross-country. Both were devoted sports enthusiasts, able to recite vital statistics for all of their favorite teams, but football, baseball and NASCAR were their real passions. They both loved fishing, boating and hunting outings with friends and family.

Jeffrey graduated from Mt. Pisgah in 2005 and left for Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Georgia. Brian followed him there upon his graduation in 2006. At GSU, both boys were members of Delta Chi fraternity, a privilege they held dear. They were devoted to Delta Chi and their fraternity brothers.

On March 5, 2007, his twentieth birthday, Jeffrey was diagnosed with Acute Mylogenous Leukemia and returned home to be treated at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. His brother, Brian, stayed home to be with Jeffrey, and when it became apparent that the only possibility for a cure for Jeffrey was a bone marrow/stem cell transplant, Brian immediately stepped forward. Brian had heart arrhythmia, something learned during his high school football days, and, consequently, was questionable as Jeffrey’s donor. But, he was an eight-point match and determined to save his brother.

Jeffrey's Voice Funding a Cure for Leukemia
Brian Horne

Brian suffered terribly from the massive doses of Growth Factor drugs given him prior to the cell donation and had to be transported to the hospital via ambulance the day before making the donation, with breathing difficulties and seizures. Nonetheless, he remained determined, donating the cells later that evening. The transplant was initially successful, but both boys were devastated when Jeffrey’s leukemia returned just five months later. Even though the preparation for donation was difficult on Brian, he was more than willing to make other donations to Jeffrey as necessary.

Despite the horror of his illness, Jeffrey never lost his sense of humor, graciousness, determination, spirit or faith; he never gave up. During the course of his treatments, Jeffrey participated in several clinical trials to help others with the disease. He wrote in his journal, “this next treatment is another experimental one and probably of no use to me, but I don’t mind being a lab rat if it will help other leukemia patients”. Because of his courage, his voice spoke to many. When Jeffrey’s prognosis became just about as bad as it could possibly be, his faith continued to give him strength. One late night shortly before his last hospital stay, Jeffrey said to his Mother, “Mom, there is a plan for this. It may be that I will get well and can help others with Leukemia. Or it may be that I won’t … then you can.”

Jeffrey’s struggle with leukemia ended on January 30, 2008, after a near year-long heroic battle. Shortly after losing Jeffrey, Brian announced that he was joining the National Bone Marrow Donor Program. He told his Mother, “Mom, if I can give another person even five more months, then I want to do that, and I know Jeffrey would want me to do that.” He did not have the time. Brian died of a broken heart just 17 weeks after losing his beloved brother. Brian was 19.

The courage of these two beautiful and amazing boys touched and spoke to many. Jeffrey’s Voice continues their message of love, inspiration and hope for a cure.