Marrow drive has good turnout

February 16, 2011 —

One hundred and thirty-eight people were tested and registered as blood marrow donors at the Marrow Donor Drive held at the Hudson High School gym on Valentine’s Day, February 14 for Kyle Tanner, a sophomore at Hudson High School. There were also sandwiches and chili provided to registrants, and a bake sale and t-shirts were available to help raise funds to help pay for testing.

“I was pleased with the outcome, and it’s nice to have that step over, because it’s nice to help other people too,” said Mary Tanner, Kyle’s mother. “I’m thankful for all the help I got. It made things go very smooth yesterday.”

Kyle Tanner was diagnosed with Fanconi anemia, a rare blood disease that is the result of a genetic defect in a cluster of proteins responsible for DNA repair which often leads to an inability to develop bone marrow and a risk for cancer.

“We’re just hoping to get some preliminary matches for Kyle and for anyone else who needs it,” said Mary. “He already has some preliminary matches, but we want to be careful and to help others out. I just hope we get one match for somebody. That’ll make it all worth it, because while you’re waiting to see if someone matches, it’s hard. It’s a lot of sleepless nights ”

It’s a little tricky because people with this disease can’t have typical chemotherapy and radiation that normal treatment would entail. However, the prognosis is good, and Kyle’s blood counts have remained stable over the previous few months. “I’m very optimistic things will be smooth. There’s no other choice but smooth,” said Mary.

Next week, he and his mother will be travelling to a clinic at the University of Minnesota that specializes in Fanconi anemia. “The University of Michigan wouldn’t do a transplant for Kyle because he has no sibling matches,” Mary said. “So they sent us to the University of Minnesota.”

Mary’s also thankful for all the help she’s gotten. “I’ve had a lot of support at work, school, and from my family and the community. Everybody’s been willing to help when I’ve needed them.”

And as far as Kyle goes? “He’s just focused on being a kid right now– video games, sledding, and he’s on the basketball team,” Mary said.

“I think all this is great,” said Kyle. “A lot of people are coming out, and, well, good food.”

T-shirts are still available for sale at the high school office for $15, or you can contact Mary at 448-8885 or Teri Moreno at 448-3322 to buy one.

If you’d like to get involved or register as a bone marrow donor, but you missed the drive, you can contact the National Bone Marrow Program Registry to register by calling 1-800-marrow-2 or by going to http://marrow.org.