Marrow Donors Sought To Help Save M. V. Boy’s Life
Retired Fireman’s Son Battles Leukemia
While children across the city were opening presents on Christmas Day 2011, a six-year-old Middle Village boy was in a hospital receiving his first round of chemotherapy to fight a life-threatening form of cancer.
Colin Flood, a first-grader at Our Lady of Hope School (OLH), was diagnosed on Dec. 23, 2011 with acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) after experiencing flu-like symptoms for nearly two weeks. The son of a retired New York City firefighter, his best hope for treatment is a bone marrow transplant, but a matching donor could not be found within his family.
Hoping to save the child’s life, DKMS Americas and Our Lady of Hope School will be holding a bone marrow donor registration drive on Saturday, Feb. 18, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the school located at the corner of Eliot Avenue and 71st Street.
All are invited to sign up to become a potential marrow donor to Colin and others who are battling leukemia and others battling similar life-threatening illnesses. Donors must be between 18 and 55 years of age and in good general health.
Upon registering, potential donors will have their cheeks swabbed by nurses on hand for laboratory analysis to determine a match for Colin and others in need of a bone marrow transplant. DKMS is also seeking financial contributions to cover the cost of laboratory testing.
ALL is a particularly aggressive form of leukemia which attacks white blood cells that serve as the body’s immune system. It is most common among children, usually striking between ages two and five; if properly treated, there is an 80 percent survival rate among youngsters stricken with the disease.
The chemotherapy treatments Colin is undergoing require 24-hour hospitalization, keeping him from taking part in classes at OLH and peewee basketball games, it was noted on a DKMS press release.
“The hardest thing as a parent is knowing there is nothing I can do to help save my son,” said Kevin Flood, Colin’s father and a retired firefighter formerly assigned to Engine Co. 210 in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, who participated in the rescue and recovery efforts following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center. “Please get swabbed and give Colin a fighting chance.”
For more information about registering to be a bone marrow donor, visit www.getswabbed.org.
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