Bone marrow donor drive to be held for Anderson woman with leuke - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Bone marrow donor drive to be held for Anderson woman with leukemia

Tamara's doctor says her best chance is a bone marrow transplant (FOX19/Gordon Graham) Tamara's doctor says her best chance is a bone marrow transplant (FOX19/Gordon Graham)
ANDERSON TOWNSHIP, OH (FOX19) - An Anderson Township woman needs your help. She's looking for someone with matching bone marrow to give her the best chance at beating leukemia.

A bone marrow donor drive is being held Saturday in hopes of finding a good match. It's also an opportunity to help others in her position.

Back in September, Tamara Doan went to see her doctor because she was feeling run down and thought she had the flu, but a blood test then  revealed she has acute myeloid leukemia (AML). 

Tamara says it was the last thing she expected.

“I was petrified. I didn't know, I didn't know anything about it and I didn't know what was going to happen to me, my children,” Tamara said. 

Tamara has been undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatment. Her disease is currently in remission, but her oncologist, Dr. James Essell, say a bone marrow transplant from a matching donor is Tamara's best hope.

“The best way for her to be cured to never have this come back and live a normal life, to see her kids have kids and to be with her grand kids is to have a match and the better the match the better her outcome is,” Dr. Essell said.  

Siblings generally make the best donors, but Tamara's brother is not a match so a bone marrow drive will be held Saturday. It was organized by Tamara's long-time friend Pam Farmer who says she wanted to help. 

“I threw this together because she's been my best friend since kindergarten and it's the only thing I could think to do to help and to get the word out to the community,” Farmer said.

The test for potential donors is simple. It involves a simple mouth swab and Dr. Essell says if you're a match the marrow can be harvest two different ways. 

“One is an IV in each arm and lie there and the blood is spun out like a dialysis machine and the other way would be go to the operating room and manually remove it, but that under anesthesia so there's not a painful procedure while they're awake for people like that and unlike donating a kidney all this grows back," Dr Essell says of the procedure. "You're not losing anything permanently and, like I say, it's the best way to save a life.” 

The chances of finding a perfect match among the general population are small so that's why everyone is encouraged to go to the donor drive. Tamara says you may save her or someone else's life.

”There's so many people who are suffering just waiting for a donor or they can't find a donor. I would love for people to come out to be able to give the gift of life,” Tamara said.

The bone marrow donor drive will be held at the Anderson HealthPlex this Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. They're looking for potential donors between the ages of 18 to 44. There will be free food and everyone who signs up will have a chance to win a free massage.  

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