Senator Klein And Assemblywoman Paulin Fund Eastchester Bone Marrow Registry Drive
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Eastchester, NY–State Senator Jeff Klein and State Assemblywoman Amy Paulin provided thousands of dollars for an Eastchester Bone Marrow Registry Drive this past Saturday. Their donations made it possible for prospective bone marrow donors to register without paying the usual $65 fee, increasing the number of participants at the event and potential donors in the National Bone Marrow Registry.
The courage of an 11-year old boy who was stricken with leukemia inspired former Eastchester firefighter Mike Telesca to organize the Registry drive in his honor. “My young friend Paul Luisi received stem cells from his older brother,” said Mr. Telesca. “He’s doing just great now. But a lot of people aren’t as fortunate. It’s really hard to find the right stem cell match.” A patient has only 25% chance of finding a match within his own family. Since there is limited time for a patient to find a match, the National Registry is vital.
The Drive is co-sponsored by the Eastchester Firefighters and Police Officers. Monies raised go to the Elaine Diedrick-Terrence P. Farrell Memorial Donor Program. This fund was established by Mark Kwalwasser, a New York City firefighter whose sister died of leukemia before a match could be found. Mr. Kwalwasser administers the fund free of charge. Mr. Farrell was a New York City firefighter who, before his death on 9/11, donated twice himself and convinced many others to donate. Firefighters constitute 13% of all matches in New York City; many have contributed funds as well.
“This is the kind of community organizing that really saves lives,” said Assemblywoman Paulin. “I’m glad that I could help increase the number of donor names on the Registry.”
“All those stricken with cancer need to have every option available to fight this deadly disease, including bone marrow transplants,” said State Senator Klein. “I’m pleased that my contribution will increase the likelihood of a match for those needing this potentially life-saving procedure.”