D ebra Matt is busy these days, spending time with her 17-year-old daughter, Taylor Matt, at Upstate Medical Hospital, where she's undergoing chemotherapy for Acute Mylogenous Leukemia. "She's pretty sick. Taylor is pretty sick but she's got a long way to go. She has to have three more rounds of chemo if we go this route," says Debra.
I t's the second time Taylor is battling cancer, and her family is looking for a bone marrow match. With seven million potential donors in the National Bone Marrow Registry, Taylor's parents can't find a single one. The problem they say is Taylor's American Indian background. Debra says, "We need a diverse group of donors, and so far we haven't found a match because we really need different ethnic backgrounds."
P aula Miller is with the Bill Pomeroy foundation, which helps to pair patients with potential bone marrow donors. They're helping to coordinate a bone marrow drive to try and find a match for Taylor. Speaking of Taylor's parents, Paula says, "They are very grateful that the community is reaching out and wanting to join the Be The Match registry in hopes that they're going to be a match for Taylor or one of the other thousands of patients like Taylor searching for a lifesaving match."
W ith the simple swab of a Q-tip, potential donors can be registered. Taylor's family hopes the ease of registering will bring out crowds out next week. Miller says, "Her only hope for a cure is a bone marrow or stem cell transplant so we've got to find that match for Taylor."
T he bone marrow drive will be this Wednesday, December 2nd, from 4:00 to 7:00 pm at Cazenovia High School. The high school is located at 31 Emory Avenue in Cazenovia.
For more information, contact Paula Miller at 315-430-5205.