Community unites behind donor search - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Community unites behind donor search

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June 8, 2007


Moultrie --  When a south Georgia woman needed a bone marrow transplant, her community found ways to help.
They held a bone marrow drive that they hope will bring out 1,000 donors, that could not only save lives in the community, but around the country.

In 2005,  Moultrie native Carolyn Tallman was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma, an aggressive cancer of the lymph nodes.

It went into remission but came back earlier this year. "Anytime this type of cancer comes back in 5 years, bone marrow's an automatic," she said.

She required a bone marrow transplant to save her life, a process that could take years.  But her friends at Moultrie technical college were determined to find a match and received a grant to hold a bone marrow drive at the college.

"It's anywhere from $45 to $100 to get tested, and that's the great thing about today, it's free! It's very painless.  It's only a few questions and they swab your mouth."

The drive was held Friday, even though Carolyn found a match just a week ago. "They have within two months, miraculously found my donor.  People are on transplant lists for years sometimes, so this is just a true answered prayer."

And next month, she'll receive the life-saving transplant from a complete stranger. "It gives hope if nothing else.  It lets you know that people truly have a heart, they do care."

That's exactly what brought Gerard Kwileski to the drive. "if I can save someone's life, even if I don't know them, I think it's a great thing and will be glad to do my part."

He and those at Moultrie tech hope their drive will help find matches for all the Carolyns of the world, and raise cancer awareness throughout the community.

The bone marrow drive has ended at Moultrie Tech but will continue until 7 o'clock at Colquitt Regional Medical Center. Most local hospitals and doctors can offer bone marrow testing to anyone interested in becoming a donor.

  • The American Cancer Society:

    Albany Office 
    323 Pine Ave, Suite 100 
    Albany, GA  31701
    Phone: (229)446-1073

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