Donating your bone marrow can save a life. It is a quick, easy procedure that will leave you with a slight backache and possibly a headache for a day or two. And in return you get the satisfaction of knowing that you gave someone another chance at life. There is a donor drive tomorrow at XLD St Benedict Joseph in Richmond Hill. The address is 94-40 118Th St and it is from 8:30 - 3. If you can't make it tomorrow, there will be two next weekend, one in East Elmhurst as well as one in Queens Village. All you have to do is come down, fill out a quick medical history form, and the volunteers will take a cotton swab and swab the inside of your cheek. It doesn't take much time and you could possibly save a life if you are found to be a match. For more imformation check out: http://www.marrow.org/index.html
And here is an article that you should read: http://mobile.newsday.com/news.jsp?key=195923&rc=lo
Cesar Jimenez, 32, with his mom Celeste to his left, is in need of a bone marrow transplant.
Speaking through his hospital mask, Cesar Jimenez made a plea for his life Friday.
The Brooklyn resident, 32, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia two years ago. He went into remission after chemotherapy but relapsed in July and now is confined to a hospital room at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park.
His best shot at returning to a normal life is a bone marrow transplant. He must have a donor who is a match, and that donor must be Latino.
Surrounded by his family at Schneider Children's Hospital, Jimenez thanked the people who came to the hospital for its annual bone marrow drive and urged Latinos to get tested.
"I'm hoping that this event would find some type of match," he said. "If not, it's going to help other people out."
Dozens of people came to be tested Friday by way of a simple cheek swab.
Linda Russo, Jimenez's doctor, said the cure rate for acute lymphoblastic leukemia initially is 30 percent to 35 percent. But if there is a relapse, she said, there is "a very little chance of long-term survival unless they receive a bone-marrow transplant."
The chances of finding a match narrow significantly for patients with ethnic backgrounds, such as Latinos, said Russo.
According to the National Marrow Donor Program registry, seven million people on the national bone marrow registry, about 10 percent are Latino, making the need for more Latino donors greatermaking.
Jimenez's colleague at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Albert Rodriguez, is organizing the search for a donor for Jimenez. On Friday, he organized another bone marrow drive at the Hispanic Transit Society at Clason Point in the Bronx, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Schneider Children's Hospital drive will run until 5 p.m. Friday.