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A Toast Was Raised

Be a Hero - Get entered in the national Marrow database

Soldiers' Angel Adelle has done all of the homework on this.

It's time for all of us to get tested for the national marrow database.

US Navy SEAL Justin needs our help.  He served in Iraq and took care of us.  Now it's our turn. 

Let's spread the word and get as many people as possible tested to give Justin a shot at finding a match.  Usually, all you need to do is have a swab sample of cheek cells.  YOU may be the one to give someone a second chance - the life you save may be Justin's.

Here's more about Justin:

...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...

Now 27 and recently married, Justin was diagnosed June 2 with acute lymphocyte leukemia, a fast-growing cancer that destroys the platelets and red and white blood cells. Without appropriate treatment, patients often die within months of the onset of the illness. Chemotherapy and radiation are usually the first line of defense.

Unfortunately, like many adults with this disease, Justin's treatment is complicated by the presence of the Philadelphia chromosome. As a result, his best chance of survival lies in a bone marrow stem cell transplant.

"Often, siblings are matches for transplants, but neither myself nor my sister are a match," said Justin's sister, Jodi Pinedo of East Windsor. "The odds of finding an unrelated match are one in 25,000."...

Military personnel and their families can go to the following locations to be tested (swab the inside of your cheek):

Jul 10  ASBC Maxwell AFB, AL Major Greg Caudle (334) 953- 3246 

Jul 13  COMNAVBEACHGRU ONE Chief Mellish (619) 437 3632 

Jul 14 Naval Base Norfolk, VA NEX LT. G Adams (757) 282-5546 x 3325 

Jul 14  Naval Base Little Creek, VA NEX LT. G Adams (757) 282-5546 x 3325 

Jul 15  Spotswood HS, Spotswood, NJ Ms Jodi Pinedo (609) 918-0905 

Jul 21  Landstuhl Regional Medical Center (GERMANY) Sgt Robinson 0160-518-564

Civilians can check this link for centers near them.  YOU can also host a testing drive at a Police or Fire station or school in your community.

Last, Adelle adds a few more points to think about:

Everyone tested gets put in a single database. Since finding a match is already so difficult, it's important to get as many people as possible to do this. Please check things out in your area. If anyone is a Fireman or Policeman, you can have a drive in your fire/police house. They try to go to civilian sites like these that are central and do not favor one group or another, and which have broad appeal. Anyone between 18 and 60 can be tested for a potential match.

If you think you can have a drive in your area, please all Eddy as well.  this is really important.  [Blackfive note:  Eddy Medina can be reached at at (800) 627-7693, ext. 223]

Finally, there is a particular need for more minority donors. Over 99 percent of matches for someone come from their own ethnic group, so if minorities don't donate, other minorities won't get to be recipients. The odds are already a challenge so everyone being tested really helps out.

So, spread the word!  We might just be able to help Justin and a lot of other people, too!