Marrow drive, fund-raiser to benefit 3-year-old
By MARY RAINWATER
The Palestine Herald
PALESTINE — A bone marrow donation and fund-raiser event for Palestine 3-year-old Emma Routh will take place from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday at Dogwood Hills Baptist Church in Palestine.
The event will offer Palestine area residents the chance to donate bone marrow tissue samples in hopes of finding a match for Emma, who was diagnosed June 23 with Fanconi Anemia, a rare blood disorder that causes bone marrow to stop making enough new blood cells for the body to work normally.
“The only thing that can save Emma’s life is a bone marrow transplant,” Emma’s mother Brandy Routh said in a previous interview.
FA, if left untreated, has a life expectancy of anywhere from 18 to 26 years. But Emma only has another 12 to 18 months to receive a bone marrow transplant before her condition likely turns to leukemia.
“A bone marrow transplant takes healthy bone marrow cells from a donor and uses them to replace the abnormal cells in bone marrow,” Routh said. “A successful transplant would make enough new blood cells to work normally.”
Saturday’s event also serves as a fund-raiser to cover the costs of bone marrow tissue typing, which costs about $52 for Caucasians (minorities are exempt from the fees).
“Carter Blood Care will be (at the site) doing the donations and can take from 250 to 300 donors,” Routh said. “There will also be a silent auction, hamburger dinner, a bake sale and massages — all to raise funds to cover costs of tissue typing.”
According to the National Bone Marrow Program, the donation process, while involved, is relatively painless.
“There are two types of bone marrow donation — as a surgical procedure under general anesthesia or by a blood cord donation,” Routh said previously.
Once a donation is made, a typical person’s bone marrow is reproduced within 24 to 48 hours.
“For Emma we are looking for a female donor, brunette or blonde haired and brown- or blue-eyed — blood type really doesn’t matter,” Routh said. “Anyone who wants to donate should feel free to do so, though.
“You never know who will be a good match.”
A fund for Emma has been set up at First State Bank in Noonday, Palestine, and Frankston. For more information about the bone marrow drive or to donate bone marrow e-mail Brandy Routh at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 903-549-3125.
Mary Rainwater may be reached via e-mail at email@example.com
On the Net:
National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/fanconi/fanconi_whatis.html
National Bone Marrow Program, http://www.marrow.org/