06/08/09 — Serlick bone marrow drive

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Serlick bone marrow drive

By Staff Reports
Published in News on June 8, 2009 1:46 PM

For the last month, community members have been rallying around Goldsboro police officer James Serlick, who was recently diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of leukemia.

So far, though, the events have focused on helping him and his family pay for his health care.

Now volunteers are turning their focus toward a fundraiser of a more lifesaving nature -- organizing a bone marrow donation drive.

On Tuesday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Goldsboro Police Department gymnasium, officials from the National Marrow Donor Program will be on hand to test potential donors.

Interested donors will register, and then a DNA sample will be taken from inside people's cheeks with a cotton swab. If somebody is a genetic match with Serlick, there then are two ways to donate.

The traditional method is through a surgical procedure. The other is through a non-surgical procedure called peripheral blood cell donation.

To be eligible to donate, people must be between ages 18 and 60, be willing to donate to any patient and meet certain health guidelines.

Conditions that would prohibit people from donating include HIV or the risk of HIV, hepatitis or the risk of hepatitis, heart disease, cancer, chronic lung disease, autoimmune disorders such as lupas, rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis, diabetes, a previous organ or marrow transplant and significant obesity.

Donations are completely voluntary and potential donors will be contacted if they come up as a match.

Organizers are hoping for a strong turnout that will help improve the chances that Serlick, 24, will be able to make a full recovery.

Since his diagnosis in March, he has been undergoing chemotherapy treatments in preparation for a bone marrow transplant.

He attends Pikeville Pentecostal Free Will Baptist Church and is married to Paige Serlick.

For more information call Cindy Stallard at 580-4228 or call 1-800-MARROW-2 or visit www.marrow.org.