12/30/2013 04:50 pm ET Updated Dec 30, 2013

Julia Jenkins, 13, Donates Bone Marrow Twice To Save Little Brothers With Rare Genetic Disorder

Julia Jenkins' gift to her three little brothers didn't come in a box. It involved no wrapping paper, bows, or trips to the mall. But it's a present her family will treasure forever.

The 13-year-old from Georgia has donated bone marrow to her younger brothers on two separate occasions. Her three brothers all suffer from a rare genetic immune disorder called X-linked lymphoproliferative disease (XLP), according to FOX 5.

When doctors first discovered Julia was a perfect match for 6-year-old John and 2-year-old Matthew, they asked her to make a donation. Julia told FOX that, at the time, she wasn't even sure what it meant to be a donor.

"But I said yes," she said, "because they're my brothers."

Matthew's body resisted the donation, according to FOX, so Julia donated again a year later. A woman from Texas, meanwhile, donated marrow to save Julia's third brother, Will.

This Christmas, three years later, the three boys are celebrating their lives and their good health -- all thanks to their big sis. Julia told FOX she'd even donate again if she had to.

"It's like a good feeling," she said, "because they're alive because of you."

In June, a 3-year-old boy from Indiana deemed himself "Marrow Man" after donating bone marrow to his 1-year-old sister. And in August, a 15-year-old from Arizona donated bone marrow to his 16-year-old twin brothers.



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