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How You Can Help an NJ Mom Find a Stem Cell Match

Shira Klein of Marlboro is fighting for her life, searching for a stem cell transplant match.

When Marlboro-Colts Neck Patch got wind of Shira Klein's story, through an announcement uploaded on the site, readers jumped into action.

Klein, a Marlboro mother of three, has been battling Hodgkins Lymphoma since 2010. After several relapses after treatment, Klein is now looking for her stem cell donor as she undergoes another round of chemotherapy.

Follow Shira's story through Smiles4Shira on Facebook, where you can receive updated information about donation drives and more.

Her husband, Justin, wrote a letter to Patch readers. He is looking for the community Shira cares so much about to leap into action, and become donors.

In my adult life, I have never been good at asking for anything, from anyone. However, now, I have no choice. What I need to achieve requires the commitment and participation of everyone I know, everyone they know, and everyone they know. 

"I am reaching out for help to give, Shira, the love of my life, the mother of my three beautiful children, Rylie (9), Brayden (6) and Lucas (2) a second lease on life. Shira is fighting for longevity," he said.

Becoming a registered bone marrow or stem cell transplant donor is easy, and the donation process is not as painful as many believe, according to National Marrow Donor Program.

The most common way to donate is through a procedure called Peripheral Blood Cell Donation, which means the donor does not undergo surgery but instead receives injections over just a few days.

The injections, according to National Marrow Donor Program, increases healthy cell production. The donation is performed much like a transfusion, a simple procedure of sitting down and donating blood.

While PBCD is common today, many people are familiar with marrow donation, where marrow is extracted from the hip bone of a donor, a procedure that has vastly improved over the years.

According to the National Marrow Donor Program, donors are anesthetized and marrow is removed from the pelvic area. Recovery times feels sore and stiff, similar to the feeling of a pulled muscle or bruise.

Justin Klein is simply hoping more people will register, and his young wife's odds of finding a match will drastically improve.

"I need your help TODAY; not tomorrow, not next week, but today. Your immediate action could be the needle in the haystack we are looking for."

Smiles4Shira is planning to hold drives all over the state, but if you can't make a drive, it's simple to donate at home.

You can request a swab kit from one of the following organizations, and simply mailing back the kit will register you as a national donor.

www.getswabbed.org 
http://marrow.org/
http://www.giftoflife.org/

There, you can also find information about how to host a drive.

Patch will keep everyone updated about upcoming drives and ways to help. Please share this story with your friends and neighbors. We wish Shira and her family all the best.

Geekworking September 21, 2012 at 07:53 PM
A group that I belong to helped run one of these drives a couple of years ago. We learned a few things from the experience that most people did not know. Although people come out in one person's name, you are offering to help anybody in the country. All samples are registered in a national database, so even if you don't match the person that you are trying to help, you may help somebody elsewhere in the country. You can register anytime you want by getting a kit from one of the donation organizations. The volunteers at drives just walk you through the steps to complete the same self-administered kit that you would receive via mail. The registration is national and not pledged towards one person. The person named in the drive will have the benefit of your donation even if you don't give the sample at their event. If you are registered you do not have to do it again. You can help by volunteering at a drive or just by spreading the word to encourage others to register.
Sheryl Shaker September 22, 2012 at 02:27 AM
@Geekworking, you're absolutely correct that you don't have to wait for a drive to register. You can do it online here http://join.marrow.org/GiveHope
Kortney September 23, 2012 at 01:02 AM
I signed up on bethematch. Do they all work together to find a match????
Michelle Wolfson September 23, 2012 at 02:27 AM
As a mother of 3 myself, I am planning to register now. Also sharing this here in South Jersey, via all of my social networking sites.
Lauren Kapp September 23, 2012 at 02:53 AM
@Kortney @Michelle!! Thank you for your support and networking!!! There is an upcoming drive being held on October 7th from 11am - 5pm at Dance Attitudes in Marlboro, NJ at 6 Timber Lane!! Please feel free to spread the word locally!! You can "like" the Smiles for Shira Facebook page to stay updated on additional drives that will be taking place in the area! Thank you!!
Judy Musa September 23, 2012 at 10:37 AM
Join be the match, it takes only a few minutes to swab & help save a life. I hope to be a match for Shira. Please spread the word.
Kaitlyn Anness September 24, 2012 at 01:09 PM
Yes! It is all the same registry

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