June 19, 2009 by D Stack
A few weeks ago I posted an entry about a fellow EMC employee, Nick Glasgow, in desperate need of a bone marrow transplant so he could undergo further chemotherapy. We’ve had some good news on that front from his mother:
We learned yesterday afternoon that Stanford Cancer Center has found two donor matches for Nick out of the thirteen potential matches that had been developed by the national registry. Human leukocytes antigen (HLA) typing is used to match patients and donors for transplants. The immune system uses these antigens (markers) to recognize which cells belong in your body and which do not. Stanford was searching for a set of ten markers for the best match. Each of the two donor matches that were discovered, match ten out of ten criterion markers. Further evaluation needs to occur on the two donors by Stanford before a final selection can be made. Moreover, up until the actual transplant event, the national registry will continue to search for other possible donors that might make an even better match.
In any event it looks like Nick is going to get his chance at a transplant procedure which is heartening indeed for all of us. Nick and his family are so very grateful to all those people behind the scenes at EMC, as well as the other large companies that joined in, The Asian-American Donor Program, the Be The Match Donor Program, all the media involved, and the Stanford/Kaiser medical teams that have helped bring about this hopeful development. We are equally thankful for all of the outpouring of personal support by individuals all over this land and around the globe for their good wishes, prayers, support, and for all the donor volunteers who have come forward this past month.
Five weeks ago, we received the devastating news that there was 0% chance of finding a donor. Due to all of the overwhelming support and response to our call to action, not one, but TWO 10 out of 10 matching markers have been found and secured. We have not been told who these angels are due to confidentiality reasons, but we are so grateful for them! Both donors will be prepped, as well as Nick, for a transplant, which should take place within 30 days. Nick still has a long road ahead of him, so we ask that you continue to keep him, as well as both donors, in your thoughts and prayers for a successful transplant. We ask you to continue to spread the word for the need for donors, as Stanford will continue to search for even more perfect matches, until the actual transplant day. Also, we never want any family to experience the hopelessness of not being able to find a donor match. The harsh reality is that there are thousands of people just like Nick waiting for a donor match to be found. Time is ticking away and they need your help too. Please continue to spread the word that every person ‘in good health’ should be tested and enlisted into the registry. Time is of the essence! This is Nick’s wish, and ours, that every person should have a fighting chance!
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts and God Bless!
Carole, Nick & Family
I find myself both incredibly pleased and amazed at this turn of events. The outpouring of support at EMC has been immense. We are a huge company – Nick is on the other side of the continent from me and my immediate co-workers. But I witnessed people doing whatever they could to help out – blog posts, donor drives, and kind thoughts and prayers. News of his story spread to news organizations and to our business partners and competitors, all of whom helped. In these difficult times it has been heartening to see people come together for the benefit of a person who is, for most of them, a stranger.
Nick still has a long road ahead of him: the transplant won’t be available for several weeks and it will be followed by more chemotherapy designed to drive the cancer into remission. There are no guarantees here. But a month ago he had no chance. Now there is one. Please keep him and his family in your thoughts and prayers and I encourage you to become a bone marrow donor to help other families in need of a life-saving miracle. Visit the National Marrow Donor Program for more information.