A few years back, Lisa and Molly became friends. They were neighbors, had kids the same age and were going about raising them. Then, without warning, Lisa was diagnosed with an advanced form of Leukemia. With little time to waste, Lisa Gershowitz Flynn was informed she needed a bone marrow transplant and that there was no match in the national bone marrow database. Molly got to work, and organized a bone marrow drive in the lobby of their children's school. Speaking of her involvement, Molly states simply: “There was no choice. What else is there to do when something like this happens to your friend.”
At Mommy Poppins we love not over thinking it, acting from the heart and getting things done--that's why Molly Snyder is our mom of the month! Below is a short interview with her and information on how YOU could start a bone marrow drive, register yourself and attend a local drive March 7th for a little girl who desperately needs to find a match.
Why did you do this first drive at your child's school?
We started local because that was the easiest and most logical place to start. We also figured that parents of other young children would be empathetic and we were right.
How many drives did you help run?
Everyone involved in that first bone marrow drive couldn't have imagined that this one drive would spurn at least one thousand other bone marrow drives across the country by mothers and fathers who knew how difficult it must be for a parent to become so ill, so unexpectedly. We realized quickly how many people we needed to test in order to find a match for Lisa. I believe the odds of finding a match are close to 1 in 10,000. So we wracked our brains and between us tried to identify all other locations where we had contacts and could potentially run drives. As these drives and Lisa, began to get
publicity, so many wonderful people came forward and wanted to help by running drives in their neighborhoods. It was a domino effect and once it started there were often 10-20 drives per week to find a match for Lisa.
Did Lisa find a match?
Yes, eventually she did, and is doing well.
Why do you think people responded so favorable?
I think so many people had empathy for Lisa as a parent. I also like to think about how people like to help each other, even if they don't know that person personally.
How can I learn more about setting up a drive in my area?
A great resource is DKMS Americas www.dkmsamericas.org
They will get you educated about Leukemia and show you how to organize a bone marrow donor drive or register yourself via the mail.DKMS runs the largest bone marrow donor database in the world and has helped facilitate more than 16,000 transplants. They always need more people to register.
When is the next drive?
The next local drive I know about is on Saturday March 7, for a five year old girl named Jasmina. Her web site: www.oneforjasmina.com tells her story. The drive is in the lobby of P.S. 41 from 10am-2pm at 116 west 11th street between 6-7th ave, NY. NY. She needs a bone marrow transplant and currently there is no match in the database. She desperately needs to find her match. Please come out and register. African American donors are especially encouraged to come since they are underrepresented in the donor pool, bu the more people that come, the more likely to find a match. Even if you are not a suitable donor for Jasmina please consider taking the time to register now anyway. To register go to http://www.dkmsamericas.org/category/marrow-donors/become-donor or attend this event.