Community Blood Services Holds Bone Marrow Registration Drive in Support of Jessica Petti
VAUXHALL, NJ – A bone marrow registration drive is being held in the township by The HLA Registry at Community Blood Services on February 5 from 3 to 8 p.m. in support of patients like Jessica Piano Petti who recently had a bone marrow stem cell transplant to treat her leukemia.
The marrow drive will be held at the same time as a blood and platelet drive also being held in support of Jessica from 3 to 8 p.m. in the Jefferson School gymnasium, 155 Hilton Avenue.
Registration on the national be The Match registry, which consists of filling out a short health form and getting a simple cheek swab, only takes 10 to 20 minutes. To register you must be 18-44 years of age. Studies have shown that the 18 to 44 year old age group seems to improve patient outcomes. Once on the registry, you are available for patients all over the world, who need bone marrow transplants until your 61st birthday.
On July 4, 2013 what started out as a routine doctor’s visit for Jessica Petti turned into news that would forever change her life and the lives of her husband, Mike and 3-year-old son, Nico. That day Jessica was diagnosed with leukemia. In November 2013 Jessica received a bone marrow stem cell transplant. After a difficult recovery she went into remission but in July 2015 30-year-old Jessica was told her leukemia had returned. She underwent another bone marrow transplant in November 2015 at HackensackUMC and currently is at home recuperating.
Jessica and her husband, who live in East Hanover, grew up in Union and Jessica’s family has a business there. One of Jessica’s goals after her first transplant was to give back and help other patients like her so the blood and marrow drives were set up.
If you are 45 to 60 years old or cannot make it to the drive you can also click here to fill out your registration form online at Be The Match. When asked, enter promo code: HLAREGISTRY. Once you receive your cheek swab kit in the mail, swab your cheek and send it back to Be The Match to register.
If you cannot register at the drives but wish to help in another way, you can help fund the registry by sending in a contribution to help defer the cost of adding new members to the registry. Every $100 raised helps add a member to the registry. A check can be made out to The HLA Registry, 201 Chestnut Ridge Road, Montvale, NJ 07645. A donation box will be available at the drive as well.
Anyone interested in more information about registering or in learning more about bone marrow stem cell donations can call Kathy Young at The HLA Registry, 201-389-0480, X1480, or click here.
THE HLA REGISTRY
The HLA Registry at Community Blood Services, subsidiary of Blood Systems, Inc. (HLA stands for human leukocyte antigens, the genetic information encoded on white blood cells) is a member of the National Marrow Donor Program’s (NMDP) Be The Match Registry. The registry is dedicated to finding compatible unrelated donors for lifesaving bone marrow transplants. Based in Montvale (NJ), it is the largest non-governmental donor center in the U.S. and has registered more than 230,000 potential donors in the NMDP’s data base.