Bone marrow drive for Madison generates 340 potential donors

— Bethany Baptist, 2350 E. Hemphill, was a bustling place Aug. 14 when 340 people from across the county registered as potential bone marrow donors for 1-year-old Madison Lasley of Flint Township.

The drive, which was overseen by Nicole Rodammer, recruiter from the Stem Cell Department of Michigan Blood, ran from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Bethany Baptist, which is the Lasley’s church. All 340 individuals who volunteered to be potential donors, underwent four, simple cheek swabs. After all the swabs were collected in their corresponding envelopes, the envelopes are sent off for testing. If a potential donor is located, further testing will be involved.

Along with the bone marrow drive, the event included a bake sale and raffle. Approximately 90 area businesses donated $5,000 worth of items and services for the raffle.

Lasley was diagnosed July 1 with Juvenile Myelomonocytic Leukemia (JMML). She and her parents, Becky and Joe Lasley, are preparing for a bone marrow transplant by the end of October in hopes of curing the rare blood cancer. The Lasleys, who are expecting their second child, Josiah, in September, are hopeful that their son’s umbilical cord blood will be a match for Madison, but the chances are only 25 percent. While the family and Madison’s doctor at the University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor are optimistic that Josiah will be a match, Madison’s transplant specialist has crafted a back-up plan that involves finding an unrelated donor.

“She’s been doing good these last few weeks,” said Becky.

Since the news of Madison’s disease and upcoming transplant became public, communities across the county have banded together to help her and her family through bone marrow drives and raising of funds for medical expenses.

“There have been tons of support from the community,” said Becky.

The next benefit for Madison is a spaghetti dinner fundraiser 4-8 p.m. Sept. 11 at Cornerstone Baptist Church, 6273 Miller Rd. in Swartz Creek.

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