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Donor Search for Kaitlyn Peters

On April 9, in the seaside town of Long Beach, NY, the community rallied around one of their own, Kaitlyn Peters, an eight-year-old native, who was diagnosed with Philadelphia Positive ALL – a rare form of Leukemia.  Although the weather was dreary, the community came together to support the Peters Family in a bone marrow drive facilitated by the Icla da Silva Foundation, as we continue to search for Kaitlyn’s marrow match. There was a line to get swabbed that reached outside and down the street from the event space, a tent set up with cookies, cupcakes and balloons, and a children’s playspace.  Despite the gravity of Kaitlyn’s illness the mood of the drive was positive and reflected the strength of heart of all those involved.

Kaitlyn has already completed two years and nine months of chemotherapy but sadly relapsed after three months off of treatment. The Peters family learned that Kaitlyn would need a bone marrow transplant in order to survive. Kaitlyn is now searching the National Registry, Be the Match, for a donor, which is how the Icla da Silva Foundation got involved.  The Icla da Silva Foundation’s mission is to raise awareness, educate, and work in communities to add more donors to the registry. Events like Kaitlyn’s marrow drive help recruit 43,000 new donors per year.  In 2015 alone, 87 patients received the bone marrow transplant they needed from donors recruited by the Foundation.  For 12,000 people with life-threatening diseases in this country every year, the only cure is bone marrow transplant.  Unfortunately, only one third receives the transplant they need.

By holding marrow drives in schools, universities, churches and different organizations across the country, the Foundation teachs communities the steps of marrow and Peripheral Blood Stem Cell (PBSC) Donation. We want to make sure those who join the registry will be willing to make a donation in case they are a match to a patient in need.  Kaitlyn’s mother, Kim Peters, said, “We are hoping that a lot of people come get a quick cheek swab and join the registry. If you’re between the ages of 18 and 44, you’ll enter the registry and you could save a life.  If you are not a match for Kaitlyn, you could be a match for someone else.”

At Kaitlyn’s marrow drive a sign read “No One Fights Alone” and that was certainly true on April 9th in Long Beach. But Kaitlyn still has yet to find a donor to help her fight cancer.  To fight cancer with Kaitlyn you can sign up to become a bone marrow donor by clicking here.

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