New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) tenant leaders inspired by brave 11-year-old Tiffany Glasgow’s battle with sickle cell disease have organized a citywide search for bone marrow donors.
Tiffany, of the Bronxchester Houses in Melrose, who just spent a week in the hospital, urged people to come out for the painless cheek swabbing that will tell if they can save someone’s life.
Two drives take place Friday in Bronx: From noon to 5:00 p.m. at Davidson Houses Community Center, 1221 Prospect Avenue, and 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Union Consolidation, 950 Union Avenue.
Other drives are slated for May 4, 2013 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Melrose Classic Center, 286 E. 156th Street in Bronx and for May 18, 2013 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Wyckoff Gardens, 266 Wyckoff Street, in Brooklyn. Drives are in the works for Manhattan and Staten Island.
Tiffany’s brother, Leslie Thom, 30, also has sickle cell disease and spent most of March hospitalized.
Two other brothers, 27 and 9, also have the disease. Their sister died of the disease 24 years ago as an infant.
Dan Barber, president of the Andrew Jackson Houses Resident Association, said news reports last month about Glasgow’s illness prompted him to approach NYCHA about hosting the drives.
Results from the swabbings go into a national database. If a match is discovered, the potential donor is contacted about either a stem cell or marrow donation, depending on the patient’s needs.
Tiffany, a sixth-grade student at R.T. Hudson Elementary School, lives in constant pain. Two near-perfect marrow matches have been found for her, but transplants from those donors carry a risk of complications.