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Date: Mar 08, 2012
Former Student in Need of Bone Marrow Donor
After Losing Family the Search for Marrow Donors Intensifies
Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY – Hofstra University is co-hosting a bone marrow drive on Tuesday March 13, 2012 from noon to 8pm for former student Dionis Guerrero Baez, who is battling leukemia. Students from the APHOS club (Association of Pre-Professional Health-Oriented Students) will be taking swabs for the National Bone Marrow Registry, in conjunction with the university’s semi-annual blood drive in the Multipurpose Room in the Sondra and David S. Mack Student Center.
The events are sponsored by the department of Human Resources, the Division of Student Affairs, DKMS and Long Island Blood Services.
Dionis Guerrero Baez, who lives in the Bronx, was diagnosed with leukemia in 2009 while he was a pre-med student at Hofstra. He had to withdraw from the university to undergo treatment. Finding a bone marrow match is most successful if a patient’s immediate family is available to donate, but Baez’s mother and sisters were killed in the crash of American Airlines Flight 587 over the Rockaways in 2001, and his father’s did not meet the minimum criteria for a match.
Working with DKMS, a German based bone marrow donor center, more than 500 people have been registered in Dionis’ name at three smaller drives in the New York area, but none were a viable match.. The Hofstra event committee is reaching out to students, local community members and several Hispanic and Latin American organizations, because there is a better chance of a bone marrow match if the donor is the same ethnicity as the recipient.
Baez remains hopeful, saying the memory of his mother and sisters gives him strength. Whether the drives find a match for him, Baez knows the effort will help others in need of a transplant.. In an interview with WNBC-Channel 4 in January, he said: ”If a matching donor is found through this drive, I will hopefully be able to resume my studies as well as get my normal life back. This drive could help not just me, but the countless other patients who are also waiting for a donor.”
Hofstra University is a dynamic private institution where students can choose from about 140 undergraduate and more than 150 graduate programs in liberal arts and sciences, business; engineering; communication; education, health and human services; and honors studies, as well as a School of Law and the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine.