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MCNY Bone Marrow Drive Kick-off Awareness Week

MCNY Partners with Assemblyman Keith L. Wright & “Preserve Our Legacy” For a Bone Marrow Drive to Find a Match for 10-Year-Old Lloyd “LJ” Jones – The First Child to Battle Hyper-Eosiniphilic Syndrome – One of the Rarest Forms of Cancer

WHAT:                 Metropolitan College of New York (MCNY), Assemblyman Keith Wright & “Preserve Our Legacy” invite students, alumni, friends and neighbors to “Be the Match” at a bone marrow drive, in support of Bone Marrow Awareness Month.

WHO:                    At the core of MCNY’s Purpose-Centered Education is its Constructive Action (CA) seminar, in which students work with professors and work supervisors to apply their academic learning to the real world. MCNY truly embraces experiential learning by encouraging the continuous interaction of classroom and direct first-hand practice. Fostering a spirit of education that works, MCNY is delighted to welcome home alum Shana Melius and partner with her nonprofit organization “Preserve Our Legacy” and Assemblyman Keith L. Wright for a bone marrow drive to find matches for Lloyd “LJ” Jones and Nyiah Young. LJ is 10 years old and currently battling hyper‐eosiniphilic syndrome, one of the rarest forms of cancer. LJ is the first child diagnosed with this disease, all others have been adults. In need of a bone marrow transplant, LJ just found out that no one in his family is a match. He is currently undergoing treatment in New York City. Nyiah, 5 years old, recently suffered a stroke and was diagnosed with Moya Moya Disease – a thinning and separation of the blood vessels in the brain. She is in need of a bone marrow transplant and has no matching donors within her immediate family.

“Preserve Our Legacy” was founded by Melius as part of her CA project as a means to educate the minority community about diseases most commonly affecting people of color.  Melius used her CA seminar to make the world a better place and MCNY is excited to support its graduate in her mission to create awareness of this worthy cause. “Preserve Our Legacy” long searched for a match for 11-year-old Shannon Tavarez, who was performing as Young Nala in The Lion King on Broadway. Upon hearing about the recent loss of Tavarez, MCNY and “Preserve Our Legacy” invite all to register to be a bone marrow donor.

WHY:                    Melius’ CA project highlighted a common misconception­– bone marrow donors are easily found within a patient’s family.  The reality is that 70% of leukemia patients do not have a family donor.   “Preserve Our Legacy” started with founder Shana Melius’ mission to find a match for Jaden Hilton, a young African American boy battling leukemia.  In January 2007, never having found a bone marrow match, Jaden lost his battle.   Jaden died because African American bone marrow donors are particularly hard to find. Minority participation in the National Bone Marrow Registry is extremely low, with African Americans among the lowest at 8%, Hispanics at 9% and Asians at 7% of all registrants. 

WHEN:                 MCNY Bone Marrow Drive

Monday, November 15 – 12:00 Noon – 6:00p.m.

Lloyd “LJ” Jones will be on-site at MCNY’s Bone Marrow Drive

WHERE:              Metropolitan College of New York (MCNY) – Audrey Cohen Gallery, 12th Floor

431 Canal Street, New York, New York 10013

ADDITIONAL INFO:   After meeting three-year-old Jaden Hilton during his fight with leukemia, Melius and her husband Robert began an international search for a bone marrow match. Melius began to advocate encouraging more minorities to donate. On May 20, 2010, the Assembly of the State of New Jersey passed “Jaden’s Law,” a bill created by the Meliuses, which encourages doctors to promote patient awareness of the option to become bone marrow and peripheral blood stem cell donors.  Jaden’s Law is in the process of being passed in the states of New York, Illinois, Georgia, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.