by Jan Gunter
Sunday was a very big day at the Ronald McDonald House! We hosted a huge bone marrow drive for Kethan and other children like him. More than 600 people were in and around the House, volunteering, and registering to be bone marrow donors, seeking a donor for a Cure for Kethan.
(Scroll to the bottom to get right to the Batmobile photos).
Why did we do it?
10 year old Kethan is a straight A student who loves to read, draw, and watch movies. He was first diagnosed with Leukemia in 2006. Since the original diagnosis, he has relapsed twice. Now, the only hope for this aspiring movie director and thousands of other patients is to have a bone marrow transplant. YOU might be the one person who can save a life!
That is why we transformed our normally serene dining room and game room area into a hubbub of activity for four hours. At the beginning of the day, the dining room looked like this:
Soon a host of volunteers transformed the dining room into this:
Potential bone marrow donors came into the dining room to begin the registration process. Then they went up to the second floor where we had transformed the game room into the area where donors swabbed the inside of their own cheek, and completed the registration process.
In the course of the afternoon, several local news crews came through, including Fox7, KEYE and KVUE, because they all wanted to share the story, the great need for Kethan, and the huge turnout of new people getting into the registry.
While all of this way going on, there was a special appearance by the Batmobile out in the parking lot. Nicholas, whose story we have previously shared on our website, came with his family so they could register to be donors. They had the happy bonus of getting to pose with the Batmobile, thanks to John Borek of Auto Craft.
An amazing 339 people were added to the bone marrow registry yesterday. If you missed it, you can visit getswabbed.org today to learn how to register.
“Kethan is an incredible boy, with so much to give and look forward to in life.
Without a compatible donor in the database, we are forced to consider alternative treatments. We need to add more donors. So, please register as a bone marrow donor so other families do not go through this agony.”
– Lokesh and Sumithra, Kethan’s parents
Today our dining room, game room and House are back to normal. Families will check in. Families will check out. Volunteers will cook lunch and dinner. Big things happen here every day, usually one family at a time. We’re glad we got to be part of something big yesterday, even if it meant bringing a little chaos into this House that so many families call home.
Did you see the story on the evening news in Austin yesterday? Have you registered to be a bone marrow donor? Please share your thoughts in our comments below.