Stem cell drive to be held Sunday

Massenzio, Princeton student, hosting event


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— On Sunday, July 27 there will be a stem cell drive from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Cassidy Hall at Our Lady of the Lake Church in Sparta.

Erik Massenzio has organized the drive through "Be The Match" which is a national registry for patients who are searching for a donor in order to receive a stem cell transplant. His mother, Hedy Massenzio, who was in need of a donor due to a diagnosis of acute leukemia, received a life saving transplant ten years ago from a donor who was in the national registry.

There are many misconceptions about stem cell, also known as bone marrow transplants, and part of the purpose of the drive is to educate potential donors of the procedure of donation.

While many people still believe that surgery is involved, today the method of donation is primarily a simple blood donation at a local blood bank.

Signing up to be in the registry is very simple and quick. You must be between the ages of 18 to 44, and it only involves a self-administered inner cheek swab.

Most people who are in the registry are never matched with a donor. If a donor match is found, hopefully they will decide to donate, but entering into the registry is not binding in any way.

Massenzio, a recent graduate of Pope John XXIII High School, just completed his freshman year at Princeton University. Last month, he also ran a donor drive at Pope John, which was very successful thanks to the senior class and faculty who participated.

For more information about the drive or how to contribute in other ways send an email to erikmm@princeton.edu or call 862-266-1251.

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