Marrow registry drive to help save Lola Barclay

Lola Barclay, a beloved Upper West Side nanny diagnosed with an aggressive type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma during the summer of 2010, is in need of a bone marrow transplant to help save her life.

New York Blood Center (NYBC), Be The Match, and Meredith and William Fogel, the Upper West Side family employing Lola Barclay, are making an urgent appeal to residents to help save her life (and the lives of patients in need of a life-saving marrow transplant) by attending a special marrow registry drive.

The drive will be held on Sunday, Nov. 7 from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at Mount Olive Pentecostal Church, located at 830 Utica Ave.(between Linden Blvd. & Church Avenue), Brooklyn, N.Y. 11203.

Born and raised in Jamaica, 48-year-old Lola Barclay is a loving sister, friend, and mother of two adult children who still reside in Jamaica. After working tirelessly on a banana plantation in Jamaica for more than 15 years, Lola left Jamaica to travel to New York City seeking a better life for her and her children.

Working as a nanny for many years, Lola has touched the lives of several families including Meredith and William Fogel and their children Jack and Katelyn to whom she has always been an adored and trusted member of the family. When Lola suddenly became sick this summer with non-Hodgkin lymphoma; Lola’s family, the Fogel family, and their close friends in the community, were devastated.

Meredith Fogel (whose own sister’s life was saved by a bone marrow transplant almost 14 years ago) vowed to do everything she could to help Lola find a bone marrow match.

The Love4Lola (www.Love4Lola.com) marrow registry drive on Nov. 7 is one way individuals can give hope to Lola and thousands of other patients searching for a matching marrow donor.

Because patients are most likely to match someone from their same race or ethnicity, Lola’s best chance of finding a donor is from individuals of Caribbean, Black or African-American heritage. In order to help patients like Lola, more individuals from various ethnic and racially diverse communities are needed on the Be The Match Registry.

For thousands of patients with life-threatening diseases such as leukemia and lymphoma a bone marrow transplant from an unrelated donor is their best or only hope for a cure. These patients depend on the Be The Match Registry to find a match – and a second chance at life.

While many patients do find the life-saving match they need each year, more donors are needed, especially those from racially and ethnically diverse communities, to help increase the likelihood that all patients will find a match.

New York Blood Center partners with Be The Match to help grow the registry of potential marrow donors. You could be the one to save a life. Take the first step at http://BeTheMatch.org. Financial contributions and volunteers are also needed to help save lives.

To join the Be The Match Registry you need to be between the ages of 18-60; be willing to donate to any patient in need; and meet health guidelines. Registration involves completing a health history form and giving a swab of cheek cells. There will be no cost to join the registry during the Lola Barclay bone marrow drive, but financial contributions to help with tissue typing cost are appreciated. Interested individuals can also join the Be The Match Registry online at http://join.bethematch.org.

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