Donor registry drive honors local youth

On Sept. 6, 2013, a local eight-year-old boy was diagnosed with aplastic anemia, a blood disorder in which the body’s bone marrow doesn’t make enough new blood cells.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), “Aplastic anemia is a rare but serious disorder. It can develop suddenly or slowly. The disorder tends to get worse over time, unless its cause is found and treated. Treatments for aplastic anemia include blood transfusions, blood and marrow stem cell transplants, and medicines.”

Margo Madigan has set up “Be the Match,” a Facebook site about him, and a donor drive to help find matches for others that need bone marrow transplants.

On Saturday, Nov. 2 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. a Donor Registry Screening Drive will be held at Holy Redeemer Church in Warren.

Volunteers between the ages of 18 and 44 may sign a consent form and have a simple, painless cheek swab taken.

According to the site, the boy will have treatments to suppress his immune system, which will hopefully allow his bone marrow to return to a normal function.

In early 2014, it will be determined if he will have to undergo a bone marrow transplant from an unrelated donor, as none of his siblings match. If that becomes necessary, the family will have to rely on the registry to find a suitable donor.

This drive is in honor of him, but not specifically typing for him. If you join the registry you need to be willing to donate to any patient in need.

Tax-deductible donations may also be made to www.bethematchfoundation.org/goto/WarrenCommunity.