The Washington Town and Country Fair partnered with Delete Blood Cancer — a global organization with a mission to eradicate blood cancer — for the third year, holding a bone marrow drive at the Fair, registering attendees to the national bone marrow registry.
This year the Fair had a special goal in mind: to find a match for four young brothers who all need a bone marrow transplant.
Sean, Patrick, Danny, and Timmy Murry, St. Louis, all have a rare blood disease, Diamond Blackfan Anemia. The family has dealt with over 22 years of transfusions and injections and now all the boys need a bone marrow transplant if they are to survive.
Joining the registry at the Fair was as simple as filling out a form and getting a cheek swab.
Dave DeCecco, a former Washington High School student, was in attendance this year as a volunteer as well as a media advocate for this important cause. DeCecco registered at the 2011 Washington Town and Country Fair and was found to be a match to an infant suffering from blood cancer.
He went on to donate his healthy marrow and saved her life, all because he registered at the Fair.
“To have the opportunity to save a person’s life was very special for me,” said Dave. “When I received the first update on how my patient was doing, the joy and happiness I felt was indescribable; I strongly suggest getting registered and to possibly save someone’s life.”
DeCecco and over 30 other local volunteers successfully registered 319 people at the event. Through the course of the three years, drives with Delete Blood Cancer at the Washington Town and Country Fair have resulted in over 2,000 people added to the National Bone Marrow Registry.
Two of those registrants were found to be donor matches and went on to donate their marrow and save a cancer patient’s life.
September is National Bone Marrow Awareness Month, and DeCecco and the Murry family would like to encourage as many people as possible to considering joining the National Bone Marrow Registry.
This simple act could be the opportunity to give the Murry brothers, and thousands of other patients in need, a second chance at life.
Delete Blood Cancer DKMS started with one family’s search for a bone marrow donor and is today part of the world’s largest bone marrow donor center. The organization has helped register more than 3.5 million potential donors and facilitated over 35,000 life-saving transplants around the world.
For more information or to register as a bone marrow donor, people can visit www.DeleteBloodCancer.org.