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Brooklyn Boy Needs Bone Marrow Transplant!
HLA Bone Marrow Registry Drives Scheduled in February

February 2016


BROOKLYN, NY – Six-year-old John Faro Vitale desperately needs to find a bone marrow match to cure his rare blood disease called Fanconi Anemia.

In the hope of finding John Faro a lifesaving match and helping other patients who need marrow transplants, the YMCA and John’s friends and family have rallied around John Faro and his family. On February 1st a massive virtual online registration effort will begin in honor of John Faro. Anyone wishing to register as a potential marrow donor can join online at www.bethematch.org with promo code: “MATCH4JOHNFARO”.

The online registration drive is scheduled to run through March 31st. John’s friends, family, and co-workers have not slowed down for a minute in their search to find him a lifesaving match, according to Kathy Young, recruitment manager for The HLA Registry at Community Blood Services which is running the online drive and several other drives hosted by YMCAs in the area. There will be a Be The Match registration table at each drive for individuals 18-44 who wish to do a cheek swab to register.

John Faro, son of Andrea and Faro Vitale, loves to play soccer and watch football on TV. He needs a bone marrow stem cell transplant following his diagnosis but his marrow make up is very rare and he has been unable to find his match through the Be The Match Registry. A sibling is usually the best match but, unfortunately, his brother Antony was not a match.

John Faro’s grandmother, Helen Flores, is the executive director at the West Essex YMCA. With the help of other executives at the Metro YMCA of the Oranges she is hosting multiple registration events in New Jersey throughout the month of February with The HLA Registry at Community Blood Services. The YMCA drives will be held:

  • Monday, February 8; 4:30 – 8:30 p.m.; Sussex County YMCA; 15 Wits End Road, Hardyston Township
  • Tuesday, February 9; 4-8 p.m.; Madison Area YMCA, 111 Kings Road, Madison
  • Thursday, February 18; 3:30 – 7:30 p.m.; West Essex YMCA; 321 S. Livingston Ave.,
  • Livingston
  • Monday, February 22; 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.; Wayne YMCA; 1 Pike Drive, Wayne
  • To register live at the events you must be 18-44 years of age. Those 45 to 60 may register online at www.bethematch.org. John Faro’s virtual drive information will be available at the events. Once on the registry, you are available for John Faro and patients like John Faro who need bone marrow transplants. You can remain a volunteer marrow donor until your 61st birthday.

    If you are 45-60 years of age and would like to register, you can do so online at John’s virtual drive February 1st through March 31st. Click here to fill out your registration form online at Be The Match using John’s promo code, MATCH4JOHNFARO when asked. Once you receive your cheek swab kit in the mail, swab your cheek and send it back to Be The Match to be registered.

    Every day thousands of adults and children like John Faro are diagnosed with leukemia, lymphoma, aplastic anemia, sickle cell anemia and other serious diseases that require transplants from volunteers as a cure. Approximately 70 percent of those patients will not find matches within their own families and must turn to the Be The Match registry to find a donor. You can learn more at www.bethematch.org.

    It costs approximately $100 to add each new member to the registry. If it is possible, we ask that you make a contribution in any amount, this can be done at the event.

    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, or click here.

    The HLA Registry at Community Blood Services (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.

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