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Desperately Seeking Donors: Stem Cell Drive For Mom of Three

New Milford Shop Rite hosting Stem Cell Donor drive Saturday from 9 am to 1 pm to help save the life of a mother with three young children.

Shira Klein of Marlboro, mother of three young children, was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma in 2010. The New Milford Shop Rite on River Road is holding a stem cell donor drive Saturday, October 20, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in hopes that somebody out there can be her cure.

The drive, organized by New Milford resident Kate Jelaska, and sponsored by DKMS Americas (the largest bone marrow center in the world) is Klein's second attempt to beat Hodgkin's and she is desperately seeking donors.

"I really can't stand the thought of Shira's three little kids losing their mother and I really want to help their family and my friend in any way that I can," Jelaska said. "I'm asking my community to help me try and find a match for Shira."

For the last several months, Klein has been undergoing a new chemotherapy with the hopes that she will get back into remission and undergo a second stem cell transplant. However, this time the transplant requires a donor.

The donor drive is extremely simple and takes less than five minutes. No needles, no taking of blood, just a quick swab of the inside of your cheek with a Q-tip that is sent to a lab. The only requirement is that donors be between the ages of 18-55.

If you are found to be an appropriate match for Klein, there are two possible ways of donating stem cells: the most common form of donating stem cells is through what is called the Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Donation or PBSC. In this method, cells are collected from the blood stream.

On the day of the PBSC, the donor's blood is removed with a needle from one arm and passed through a machine that separates out the blood stem cells. The remaining blood is returned to the donor through the other arm.

The second way of donating, which is less common, is actual bone marrow donation, in which marrow cells are collected from the backside of the pelvic bone. This process is under general anesthesia, so no pain is experience during the marrow donation.

Click here to visit Shira's Facebook page "Smiles for Shira" for more information about Shira and her search for a donor.

michelle o'donnell October 20, 2012 at 12:11 AM
Great job Kate wish I could help but due to my Myasthenia Gravis I am not allowed to donate anything but will send anyone I know there to help! You are an amazing girl and I hope it works out for Shira!

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