October 8, 2008

Family Affected By Fatal Accident Fights to Save Another Life

Jon Simon, 67, hopes to receive life-saving help. He has been fighting non-Hodgkin Lymphoma for more than a year and needs a bone marrow transplant.

In response, neighbors, friends and family will hold a marrow donor drive on Sunday, October 12th at Whole Foods Market in Deerfield, to recruit marrow donors who can potentially help save his life or the lives of other people diagnosed with life-threatening blood cancers.

The test is a simple cheek swab.

The swab will determine if individuals are a match for any of the patients in a comprehensive database compiled by DKMS, the world's largest marrow donor center.

Simon, a small business owner, has lived in Deerfield for more than 30 years. He and wife Helen, who was born on the South Side, raised three children, David, Bob and Sharon.

In 1993, David Simon was killed when a van jumped the curb at O'Hare International Airport and plowed into bystanders. The family set up a scholarship in David's name and has now turned to help fight this battle for Jon.

"My father's incredible spirit and determination has made it easier for his friends to endure this journey with him," said Sharon Simon, his daughter. "This is a numbers game for all 35,000 people awaiting marrow transplants. It is time to get awareness out there of how simple it is to pay it forward and save a life."

 WHAT:   A Bone Marrow Drive  WHERE:  Whole Foods Market - Deerfield (in the Cafe) 760 Waukegan Road Deerfield, IL 60015  WHEN:   Sunday October 12, 2008 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM  By Mail at: www.dkmsarmericas.org 

Registration process

Registration is a simple process: Individuals between 18 and 55 in good health, need only to fill out a form and have a cheek swab.

While monetary donations are not mandatory, we urge those who are financially able - even those who are excluded from taking the test for age or health reasons - to contribute.

What happens if you are found to be a life-saving match for a patient?

Once you have been identified as a donor there are two ways you can GIVE LIFE:

 1.  Peripheral Blood Stem Cell (PBSC) (Approximately 70%-80% of collections are performed this way). This procedure involves receiving daily medication for four to five days before the collection to increase blood stem cells in the bloodstream. The donor's blood is removed from one arm, passed through a machine that separates the cells used in transplant and painlessly returned through the other arm.  2.  Marrow (not spinal) Tissue (Approximately 20%-30% of collections are done this way) Doctors collect the cells, with a special needle, from the pelvic bone where a small amount of marrow (containing stem cells) is extracted. This is a procedure done under general or local anesthesia so the donor does not experience pain during the process. 

About DKMS

Founded in 1991, DKMS is the world's largest marrow donor center with more than 1.7 million registered marrow donors. Since its inception, DKMS has facilitated more than 14,000 transplants. The mission of DKMS is to give every blood cancer patient a second chance at life by recruiting marrow donors from every race and ethnicity.

DKMS Americas is a 501 (c)(3) non profit organization. All donations are tax-deductible and 100% of the donation will be used to cover the $65 donor registration fees.

To learn more about DKMS, please visit www.dkmsamericas.org.