Family seeks stem cell donors in Meaford for child with leukemia

Meaford Express

By Junior Kindergarten, Katie Star Herron had already beat cancer once.

By 4-years-old, she had been through 25 months of intense treatment for leukemia, including lumbar punctures, bone marrow aspirations, chemotherapy, steroids and more time at the hospital than at home. She received her last does of chemotherapy in September 2012 and was in remission.

But the cancer is back, and now her family is reaching out everywhere they can to find a stem cell donor for Katie. A stem-cell transplant is her only hope.

In some cases, about 30 per cent, there's a compatible donor in the family somewhere.

Katie lives with her parents in Cambridge, but she has extended family in Meaford. Katie's grandparents Georgina (Sewell) and Glenn Hodgkinson grew up in Meaford and they are hoping there might be family left in town who can help their little granddaughter.

One Match is a Canadian registry connected to an international network of stem-cell and bone marrow donor registries, and the family of Katie has arranged for a cheek-swabbing clinic in Cambridge on Saturday, February 22 at the Cambridge Sports Park at 1001 Franklin Boulevard from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The other option for people in Meaford is to register on their own as a donor on One Match by visiting http://www.onematch.ca or calling 1-888-236-6283 to fill out a health questionnaire and receive a swab kit in the mail.

About 70 per cent of stem-cell transplant patients receive donations from strangers and non-family members. So it's important to register as a donor on One Match. By registering at One Match, a donor can give stem cells to a patient anywhere in the world.

Ideal donors are between the ages of 17 and 35 and in good health.

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Family seeks stem cell donors in Meaford for child with leukemia

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