How You Can Help a 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.
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.