Monday, January 3, 2011

Save a Life -- Like Lois!

I have written so far about orphans and the need to raise awareness of the positive impact of people with Down syndrome have around the world.

Today I bring the focus close to home, to a beautiful, precious girl named Lois.  I met Lois and her family soon after my T-21 cutie was born.  Lois' mom reached out to me at my first parent meeting, and I am forever grateful for her welcoming me into this special club!

Lois is an amazing, sweet three-year-old girl.  She has an infectious smile and a great little brother who cheers her on.  And if Lois doesn't make you laugh, her mom sure will, as she is a hoot and a great lady (and dad is cool, too).

But Lois is in the fight of her life right now. Earlier this year, she was treated for Myelodysplastic syndrome leukemia.  While there was hope that she was in remission, unfortunately her condition has now worsened into a fast-growing, severe leukemia called acute myelogenous leukemia (AML).  It is every parent's worst nightmare.

Such a cutie!!!   

Lois' best hope is for a bone marrow transplant.  This means she needs someone to willingly donate a sample of tissue (easy cheek swab) to be tested to see if she can have her life saved.  Are you willing to help?

This issue is near and dear to me not just because I love Lois.  But also a member of my husband's own family, Ashley, had this life-saving treatment two years ago and is blessedly with us today.
Cousin Ashley and my husband, Kevin
No one asks to have cancer.  No one wants their child to be terribly sick.  To spend days in hospitals, getting painful tests and procedures -- while missing work, family, and wondering how this can all get better.

It is SOOOO easy to get tested to see if you are a match for bone marrow.  If you live in the Richmond area, there is a drive this Saturday at Ginter Park Presbyterian Church, 3601 Seminary Avenue, from 10-1.  This church is in the North side of Richmond, near Brook Rd and Laburnum.  As I wrote above, you will have the inner part of your mouth cheek swabbed with a big Q-tip.  That's it.  A cheek swab, potentially to save someone's life.

If you are out of town and not able to come, you may still get on the registry!  Just go to Be The Match and click on Join the Registry.  Fill out a few online forms and you will receive a swab kit in the mail.  I did mine at my desk while my oldest worked on her spelling words.  Very, very easy.

It is free to register, and registration is open to anyone age 18-60.  There are costs involved in the matching process, though, and so if you are able to make a donation, you may do so at the drive on Saturday, or when you register online, or you may go here for Lois' team.

Let's work together to save a life -- and save Lois.

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