Monday, August 04, 2008

Amy's Army

I recieved an email asking for help in finding a stem cell transplant for a young girl named Amy. This is not one of those dumb pranks that you get in your emails where they say that Google will donate 5 cents for every person that reads this sob story. Those, by the way, are all fake. Google and Yahoo and Aol and whatever can NOT track who you are sending your emails to and they are not interested. Before you pass on those dumb annoying inbox-cluttering emails, please verify them. You can just go onto Google and search the name of the "sick girl" or the "doctor" and a bunch of sites will come up and tell you that this stuff is all nonesense.



Back to Amy. Amy Katz was diagnosed with Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML) in 2003. She volunteered to participate in a worldwide study for Gleevac in order to “help other kids..” But, while the drug allows her to lead a somewhat normal life, the only known cure for CML is a stem cell transplant. Although Amy’s whole family has been tested, none of them are a match (although ironically, her two sisters are perfect matches for each other.)

Amy’s Army was founded by friends and family soon after learning about Amy’s diagnosis. They held their first marrow drive in 2004 and had a turnout of over 1,620 people! The second drive drew 500 people in the midst of a Pittsburgh snowstorm! Although the many marrow drives that have been hosted by Amy’s Army have found 22 other donor matches for other patients, none has yet been found for Amy.

The most likely matches for Amy are Jews of Eastern European descent. The Pittsburgh Jewish community has been enthusiastic in their support of the cause, but we are now trying to expand by encouraging national Jewish organizations to host donor drives. Amy’s Army has already hosted donor drives in 12 states and is hoping to increase this number.

Amy’s Army has received a lot of local press coverage. If you are interested in reading the articles you can find them on the website at: http://www.amysarmy.org/press.htm.

For more information you can also visit: www.amysarmy.org.

If people are unable to attend a specific Amy’s Army donor drive, they are still encouraged to register and provide the donor bank with Amy’s CBB tracking number, #Z0020553.

This is as much as I can really write here because most of what anyone needs to know is on her website. If people reading this could maybe forward her website to others, maybe someone who is interested in donating will get to read it and we can make something happen for a girl who needs it.

Tizku L'mitzvos!

15 comments:

sem girl said...

if i'm going 2 seminary soon, there's no point in being tested, is there?

itsagift said...

I can't get to the first link...are you sure it is correct?

mickey mouse said...

I've was tested for someone else and they have me in the database... so I'm assuming they checked there! :)
sem girl... you should be tested, wouldn't you push of your trip to save a life? anyways, even if you are a match it's a really quick process...

Survivor too said...

Will they consider people that have had cancer?

J.A.P. said...

My mistake Itsagift. Works now.

Yes Sem girl- go and get tested!

Mickey mouse- even if they have you in the database it does not neccessarily mean you will be set up. I don't know if Amy is listed in your particular base. You can call and ask.

Survivor- I doubt they would let you try. It was always my dream to go and give blood on my 17th birthday, I was even trying to gain enough to make the weight requirement, but they never let me give because I've had transfusions. Same with anything else I'd assume.

Anonymous said...

just sent it round to my entire mailing list...

Anonymous said...

whats the weight requirement
i would be interested in being tested

J.A.P. said...

For blood I know the weight requirement is 110 lbs. For bone marrow I have no idea.

sem girl said...

i'm checking out if i can make it work b4 i go. gotta go get the ball rolling. thanks all for your push.

Survivor too said...

I had a blood transfusion too. I thought after being in remission for a certain amount of years they let you give blood? That might be the case for Red Cross. Donating for a Jewish blood bank might be different because they are probably stricter. I wouldn't want to take the chance that I could harm someone by giving them my blood. But I will try to convince other people to do so. Do you know of any other reasons why someone would not be able to give blood or bone marrow?

J.A.P. said...

I'm not sure about other reasons for not being able to give. I just know that I cant cos of the transfusions.

I did try to donate blood to a non Jewish thing that they had set up in the mall (only because they were giving out free Yankees tickets) but they didn't either want to take my blood.

I'm going to try the vampires next. I never heard of them having any problems with blood.

mickey mouse said...

They don't let me donate blood cuz I don't weigh enough (I have an 'I donated blood keychain' that they gave me cuz I was ready to donate :) ), but I'm sure with marrow it shouldn't be an issue--- kids donate too... with marrow donors you need to be the perfect match... and blood if they don't take from someone else...
and JAP I called Amy's Army and left a message to find out if I should get retested...

itsagift said...

Do you know if she's Jewish and has a tehillim name so we can daven for her in the meantime?
Thanks!

Anonymous said...

are you in hybernation?

Itzhak Schier said...

BS"D

Blood donor requirements and rules are the same across the US and Canada. 110 lbs/50 kgs, good health which basically means no "yes" answers on the standard questionnaire past the first two or three.

(I was a veteran donor in the US and I once showed up to donate at Maimo after a long day's work and absent-mindedly checked off every single answer "yes". As I was well known to the nurse at the blood bank, she politely asked me to redo it as I basically had informed them that I had a prison record, a history of engaging in behavior that would have gotten me skila bzman shebeis hamkidash hayo kayam, a drug habit and several severe illnesses L"A LOL!)

There is no such thing as a Jewish blood bank; Bikur Cholim of X just collects for the hospital that serves the community so that the community has enough units to its credit in the event of an emergency or an uninsured patient situation that is dealt with by the local Bikur Cholim. And the rules are established by the FDA and its Canadian equivalent.

If you weigh 105 - 109 and 5' 2" or more and pass the hemoglobin (iron) test you can probably get away with donating at a haimishe blood drive in a shul or yeshiva where they don't bother bringing scales but if you weigh 100 and 4'11' forget it.

Bone marrow - the registry is a MESS and GiftOfLife needs some organizational advice - my records are gone and they never sent me a requested kit either. So do it every couple of years any time there is a drive unless they are sure they have your records. Weight is no inyan from what I remember.