Community bone marrow drive for local 6-year-old

Community bone marrow drive for local 6-year-old

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by NewsChannel 36 Staff

WCNC.com

Posted on March 2, 2011 at 11:48 AM

Updated Sunday, Mar 6 at 9:40 AM

St. Gabriel Catholic Church

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Saturday the community came together in hopes of saving a 6-year-old girl.

Jordan Jemsek was diagnosed with leukemia in September 2009. She has endured months of grueling chemotherapy treatments. Now, a bone marrow transplant is Jordan's only chance to survive.

"Little Jordan is so full of life,” said Yvonne Hargrove.  “I don't think she has an off switch at all.”

At St. Gabriel Church Saturday there was an opportunity to learn about bone marrow transplant and possibly help Jemsek.

"Seeing my healthy kids … all the more reason for us to come out here and help other families,” said Simone Phillips.

One quick sample could save a life.

"They called me up and said I'm a match for a 1-year-old boy,” said bone marrow donor Mary Dowd.
She ended up donating the marrow and helped save the boy’s life.

“I met him a year later and we had a great weekend together,” Dowd said.  “We've gone to Disney World and celebrated a lot of great things together.”

The hope is that Saturday’s event will lead to more stories like Dowd’s and a perfect match for Jemsek.

"Her only hope now is to find a bone marrow transplant," said Hargrove.

Everyone who attends Saturday's bone marrow drive will be registered on the Be The Match Registry® and can be found as a donor match for any patient in need of a bone marrow transplant. The registration process requires a cheek swab.

If you’re not on the bone marrow donor registry you can get an at-home kit.  You take a sample, send it in and you could help to save a life.

For information on becoming a bone marrow donor, visit www.getswabbed.org.

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