The Kansas City Star reports on the dire need of two St. Louis-area young men who need a bone marrow transplant. Sean, 21, and Patrick Murry, 17 need to be genetically matched to have life-saving bone marrow to combat a rare blood cancer. Two younger brothers also have Diamond-Blackfan anemia. If matches aren't found soon, the two boys may be in jeopardy.
Sean and Patrick need blood transfusions every three weeks to control the leukemia. Treatments such as those lead to iron buildup which will eventually lead to organ shutdown. The older boys need daily dialysis treatments. Bone marrow transplants are the only way to solve the dilemma. Two younger siblings, Danny and Timmy, are currently receiving medication for treatment.
The Murry family has been leading the way at Get Swabbed events sponsored by DKMS Americas, a bone marrow donor center with a worldwide reach. Four events happened in the Kansas City area, where John Murry lives, the grandfather of the four boys who need transplants. Another 14 are planned or scheduled, including some in Iowa and Louisiana.
Less than 30 percent of those who need transplants for leukemia don't find matches within the family. The more complete strangers who sign up for Get Swabbed events, the better changes the Murry family will find a genetic match. Events have been held in St. Louis high schools and colleges. KSDK reported in early February Saint Louis University held a get swabbed event Feb. 23.
The family has also created its own website to help the younger boys. Marrow4Murrys.com purports four ways you can help the family. First is to get swabbed. Anyone from ages 18 to 55 can get their cheeks swabbed at events held in the St. Louis area. Telling someone about the National Bone Marrow Registry can spread the word about who needs transplants. Organizations can host a Get Swabbed events and individuals can volunteer at a drive.
Diamond Blackfan Anemia
Diamond Blackfan anemia was first recognized in 1938. The disease is caused by a failure of bone marrow to produce red blood cells. Patients become severely anemic. The cause of Diamond Blackfan anemia is due to a genetic anomaly or chemical abnormality, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Not enough oxygen gets to parts of the body when not enough red blood cells are produced. As many as half of children diagnosed with the disease have congential birth defects.
William Browning, a lifelong Missouri resident, writes about local and state issues for the Yahoo! Contributor Network. Born in St. Louis, Browning earned his bachelor's degree in English from the University of Missouri. He currently resides in Branson.