"Many thanks to all of you who care so much!! It means the world to my family to see the outpouring of love and support for my brother. He is fighting the fight of a true warrior and this damn disease will NOT defeat him! Everyone around the world, do a shot of Justin's favorite, Wild Turkey 101, in honor of my brother and in extending the hope and prayer that we find a donor match for Justin and he has a swift and painless recovery! God Bless and thank you all." - Jodi Pinedo, Sister of US Navy SEAL Justin
Do more than a shot of 101. Get registered in the National Bone Marrow Registry!
Family, Navy team up to find marrow donor
Navy SEAL from Spotswood was recently diagnosed with leukemia
BY MARY ANNE ROSS
SPOTSWOOD - A young man who fought for his country is now battling for his life.
And on July 15, local residents will have the opportunity to help him do just that.
Justin, whose last name is not being disclosed at the request of the U.S. Department of Defense, is a Navy SEAL and former Spotswood resident who was recently diagnosed with leukemia. The Navy is turning to Justin's hometown community to help him find a bone marrow stem cell donor who could save his life.
Justin is fairly well-known in the area. At Spotswood High School, he was president of his class, salutatorian and an accomplished athlete, competing in track, football and wrestling. Justin was captain of the wrestling team and became the first wrestler from Spotswood to reach the second round of the New Jersey State Wrestling Tournament. He then became a state district champion at 160 pounds.
After high school, Justin attended the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis and became a Navy SEAL in 2002. He was deployed twice and served a seven-month combat tour during Operation Iraqi Freedom, before returning to spend the past two years assigned to a special boat team in Mississippi...
I was tested and entered into the National Bone Marrow Registry last Thursday.
I donate blood regularly at Life Source and the good people there told me that the free testing is for minorities but not for Caucasions because there have been many, many Caucasion people who have been entered into the database.
There is a dire need for minorities to be registered. Because bone marrow is DNA related, Caucasion bone marrow cannot be used by a Pacific Islander. Therefore, everyone needs to get registered. You could save someone's life.
The cost was $62, but it is reduced to $25 with a donation of a pint of blood. So, I rolled up the sleeve and gave up a pint of frothy O+. No pain at all, the phlebotomists at Life Source are awesome (I doubt that Phlebotomists get much praise for their work). I know my phlebotomists - I used to have monthly blood tests done at Northwestern Memorial and always left with a black and blue arm. The whole process took about thirty minutes.
Think about having a bone marrow registry drive where you work. Chances are, if your company has blood drives, you can schedule a bone marrow registry drive, too.
If you are military, you can be tested for FREE. Call Eddy Medina at (800) 627-7693, ext. 223 for a location near you.
If you'd like to send US Navy SEAL Justin a card of good wishes, you can email Adele here for her address and send Justin's card to her. She'll make sure it gets to Justin.
If you are a blogger and post about the National Marrow Donor Program, email me the URL and Trackback URL and I'll post it here. (Please write a post encouraging others to get registered, don't just link to Blackfive).