Marrow Donor Drive for Infant Fighting Leukemia
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Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Macy Sue's parents, Kevin and Ashley (Buchheit) Westmoreland, anticipated their first child's arrival with joy as any new parents would, but life took a drastic change of course on March 22, 2012 when their beloved baby Macy was born with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). 1Leukemia is the most common form of childhood cancer, and Macy is only one in five million infants born with the disease.
To help Macy, or any patient needing a bone marrow transplant, a bone marrow donor drive will be held Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at the St. Vincent High School Cafeteria located at 210 South Waters Street, Perryville, Mo. from 3:30 pm to 7:30. The donor drive is being organized by Macy's family and friends that reside in Perryville, where both of her parents were born and raised.
2Anyone between the ages of 18 and 60 years of age is asked to visit the upcoming bone marrow donor drive. The process only requires a cheek swab and a simple questionnaire. Both steps are expected to be very brief. The swab will be analyzed for several genetic markers considered in matching donors and recipients.
Donors will be placed on a statewide registry, so Macy may not be the exclusive beneficiary of this event. The life of anyone suffering from leukemia or other blood disorder could be saved through this local event as well.
Macy's fight against cancer began during her delivery. Her small body was covered with bruises and a golf ball-sized lump positioned between her right shoulder and neck. She suffered a brain bleed that continued after birth as well. Within an hour of her birth, Macy's pediatrician was certain she had leukemia.
Due to the aggressive form of Macy's leukemia and her tender age, four rounds of chemotherapy and a three-month hospital stay at Arkansas Children's Hospital have only served as short-term fixes to put her into remission. Her life depends upon a bone marrow transplant, and a match has not been found.
Macy is currently living in Bentonville, Ark. while receiving care at both Arkansas Children's Hospital in Little Rock, Ark. and Children's Hospital in St. Louis, Mo.