Organizers of bone marrow donor drive hope to find match for child with leukemia

By: Kate Burgess Email
By: Kate Burgess Email

HARDIN VALLEY, Tenn. (WVLT)-- Anna Martin's normal childhood changed drastically when she was diagnosed with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML) in May. Now, she's undergoing chemotherapy as she waits for a bone marrow transplant. But the Hardin Valley Community is rallying around the Martins; organizing a bone marrow drive to help find a match for Anna.
"It's pretty overwhelming, and also encouraging for us and uplifting for our whole family," said Anna's father, Mike.

Almost 700 people signed up to be donors. Martin said, "everyone gets put into the national registry, and we hope that if it doesn't help Anna, that it will help someone else."

And the chances of helping Anna get better with each person that joins the national registry. Organizer Dan Gmyrek added, "it may be that here we're going to find a match for somebody in New Mexico. Somebody in Washington State might be signing up right now, and may eventually become a match for Anna."

Bone Marrow recipient Kim Peterson knows the value of drives like this one. She was diagnosed with AML in 2003. "It took 2 1/2 years, and 9 1/2 million people searching to find a match for me," she said.

But it only takes one to save a life.

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