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The Hackensack Fire Department is hosting a four-day bone marrow registration drive to benefit the child of a brother firefighter. Owen Hogan, 2, the son of a New York City firefighter desperately needs to find a bone marrow match to cure his aplastic anemia.
When Hackensack Fire Chief Tom Freeman heard about the Long Island boy’s plight, he made it the mission of his fire department to help find him a match.
“This is when you know you have to step up. When a young life is at stake, we all have to do our part,” said Freeman. “We’re counting on our firefighters to spread the word among their colleagues, families and friends to stop by and register at one of the drives. The Hackensack Fire Department is proud to be a sponsor for Owen and his family.”
Owen’s rare bone marrow disease causes his body to be unable to produce red blood cells, white blood cells or platelets, making it impossible for him to fight infection. Owen has had many blood and platelet transfusions, along with immunosuppressive therapy, but is no longer responding to those therapies. His best chance now is a bone marrow transplant, with a perfectly matched donor giving him a 90 percent chance of beating the disease.
The HLA Registry at Community Blood Services will hold four bone marrow donor registration drives at the Hackensack Fire Department, 205 State St., Nov. 18 through Nov. 21, from 4:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Registration at the marrow drives is free, painless and easy. A simple swab is taken of the inner cheek. Anyone aged 18 to 44 who is interested in more information about registering or in learning more about bone marrow stem cell donations can may Patrice Foresman at The HLA Registry, 201-705-1615.
If you cannot make any of this week’s drives, visit www.bethematch.org to register online at a virtual drive for Owen using promo code OWEN2013. Donations may also be made out to the Be The Match registry to The HLA Registry, 102 Chestnut Ridge Road, Montvale, NJ 07645. Every $100 raised helps add a member to the registry.