— Sometimes it takes a whole community to find a cure. That is the hope for the family of one-year-old Madison Lasley, who was diagnosed July 1 with Juvenile Myelomonocytic Leukemia (JMML).
Lasley and her parents, Becky and Joe Lasley of Flint Twp., are preparing for a bone marrow transplant by October in hopes of curing the rare blood cancer, which only sees 25-50 diagnosed cases annually in the United States. The Lasleys are expecting their second child, Josiah, in September, but there is only a 25 percent chance he will be a match for Madison through the use of umbilical cord blood. 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 related donor.
While finding a donor can be daunting, the community has stepped up and planned two bone marrow drives, with the assistance of Michigan Blood and Be the Match Registry, and a spaghetti fundraiser to help find a match.
The first bone marrow drive is noon-2 p.m. today, Aug. 5 at the Flint Township Municipal Office, 1490 S. Dye Rd. Along with the drive, there will be a picnic fundraiser at the same time. Becky previously worked in the assessment department and her father, Paul Roop, is a Flint Township on-call firefighter. Cost for the picnic fundraiser is $5 and features hot dogs.
“There also will be a raffle for prizes,” said Kathy Funk, who works in the assessment department. “We’re trying to do as much as we can to help them out as much as we can.”
The second bone marrow drive is 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Aug. 14 at the Lasley’s church, Bethany Baptist, 2350 E. Hemphill Rd. in Burton. Individuals wishing to volunteer as a donor match need to be between the ages of 18-60. Testing is done by a simple cheek swab and if a potential donor is found, further testing will be involved.
In addition to the two bone marrow drives, there will be a spaghetti dinner fundraiser 4-8 p.m. Sept. 11 at Cornerstone Baptist Church, 6273 Miller Rd. in Swartz Creek.