A bone marrow donor drive is planned for next Saturday (Dec. 20) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at St. Mark's Church to help find a match for a four-year old boy who is suffering from a rare disease. Alexander Phan has been diagnosed with hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), a life-threatening condition for which he is now being treated with chemotherapy. Phan's family has strong Dorchester roots and his father, Steve, works at the Murphy School in Neponset. Rosemary Connors, one of Phan's former teachers at the Ellison Parks Early Childhood Center in Mattapan has teamed up with the National Marrow Donor Program to help find a potential bone marrow donor, since no one in Phan's own family is a match. "There really is a need for more Asian people to be in the registry," said Connors, who added that people of all backgrounds are sought for the drive.
The donor test consists of a simple mouth swab sample that takes just moments. To join the registry, you must be between the ages of 18 and 60, be willing to donate to any patient in needs and meet the health guidelines. Learn more on the requirements at marrow.org. For more information on next Saturday's drive, call 617-472-1109. St. Mark's Church is located at 1725 Dorchester Ave.