Bone Marrow Drive Being Held for NJ Mom In-Need

Shira Klein is fighting for her life, searching for a stem cell transplant match.

Shira Klein was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma on New Year’s Eve in 2010, just days before her youngest son, Lucas, turned one year old.  Klein, a mother of three from Marlboro, has been undergoing chemotherapy treatments since her diagnosis and is now in need of a stem cell transplant.

Livingston resident Michelle Tepper, a close friend of Shira will be holding a bone marrow drive at her Boulderwood Drive residence on Sunday, Sept. 30.  This comes after Justin Klein, Shira’s husband, wrote a letter to friends and family, urging them to try and help his wife.

“In my adult life, I have never been good at asking for anything, from anyone.  However, now, I have no choice,” wrote Justin.  “What I need to achieve requires the commitment and participation of everyone I know, everyone they know, and everyone they know.  I am reaching out for help to give, Shira, the love of my life, the mother of my three beautiful children, Rylie (9), Brayden (6) and Lucas (2) a second lease on life. Shira is fighting for longevity.”

Becoming a registered bone marrow or stem cell transplant donor is easy, according to Keri Gorsky, who is co-hosting the event.  Potential donors fill out a form stating that they would like to be in the donor database and are willing to donate to anybody in need.  Then all that needs to be done is for the donor to take a cotton swab and rub it against their cheek.  The DNA from the swab will determine if the donor is a match.

If a donor comes up as a match, the donation process is not as painful as many believe, according to National Marrow Donor Program.

The most common way to donate is through a procedure called Peripheral Blood Cell Donation, which means the donor does not undergo surgery but instead receives injections over just a few days.

The injections, according to National Marrow Donor Program, increases healthy cell production. The donation is performed much like a transfusion, a simple procedure of sitting down and donating blood.

While PBCD is common today, many people are familiar with marrow donation, where marrow is extracted from the hip bone of a donor, a procedure that has vastly improved over the years.

According to the National Marrow Donor Program, donors are anesthetized and marrow is removed from the pelvic area. The recovery time will feel sore and stiff, similar to the feeling of a pulled muscle or bruise.

Justin Klein is simply hoping more people will register, and his young wife's odds of finding a match will drastically improve.

"I need your help TODAY; not tomorrow, not next week, but today,” said Justin.  “Your immediate action could be the needle in the haystack we are looking for."

The drive on Sept. 30 will be held at 11 Boulderwood Drive in Livingston.  It will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Shira Klein’s supporters also have a Facebook page called “Smiles4Shira.”  The group is planning to hold drives all over the state.  However, if anyone can’t make it to a drive, it's simple to donate at home.

You can request a swab kit from one of the following organizations, and simply mailing back the kit will register you as a national donor.


julie kaplan September 22, 2012 at 11:34 AM
Shira is an amazing friend and mom. Please take 5 minutes to come and get a swab. We need your help!!
Stacey Rubinstein September 22, 2012 at 12:45 PM
Thank you for publishing this critically important story. Not only are Shira's friends and family trying desperately to help her, but they are also bringing awareness to an important cause that may help many. While I do not know Shira or her family, I can only hope this effort brings her some "smiles" and ultimately results in a match for her. I am ordering a kit and urging those in my networks to do the same. And please know matches are found by these efforts. Just last summer my childhood summer camp, Camp Young Judea in Amherst NH, ran a similar drive. I just read in our alumni news that a college age counselor was contacted that he was a match for a stranger. After proper education and consent, he just gave him/her a possible second lease on life. Please spread the word and get swabbed.
Laura Housley September 22, 2012 at 03:02 PM
This is so important! I was diagnosed with leukemia in 2000 and had a bone marrow transplant from an unrelated donor in March 2002. I am alive and are able to be a wife and a mother! How awesome would it be for YOU to save a life? Do it now!
Llaura Rubin September 22, 2012 at 09:39 PM
I'm a registered donor with Be The Match...I'm guessing they'll contact me if I qualify? I signed up 3 years ago when my niece's was diagnosed with leukemia. (He found a donor and is doing well!)
scarletxknight September 22, 2012 at 10:14 PM
waiting for a kit in the mail. i was a little hesitant because i heard it was painful and wasnt sure about the medical consequences on my end from donating but after researching...im registering. perhaps one day ill be a match for someone.
Jersey Girl September 24, 2012 at 02:37 PM
I was a bone marrow donor for a stranger 9 years ago; I was on the registry for 7 years before a match was found. It was a tough road, there is a lot involved in being a donor, but worth it knowing that you could help someone who has no other options. It's a large responsibility but saving a life, whether you know the person or not, is an amazing gift. Sadly, I never heard from my recipient or their family, but I hope they're living a fulfilled life. Best of luck to Shira and her family!
Erica Paris September 28, 2012 at 02:21 PM
We have known Shira and Justin a long time...if you can't make it to one the many drives this weekend please take a quick minute and order a kit to test yourself at home. Shira is an amazing woman and she needs everyone's help.
Julie Casciano September 28, 2012 at 10:11 PM
I was going to come but I read up on it & it said I can't donate if I have a BMI over 40. If this is false, then let me know & I'd glady get swabbed! Good luck!!!
Clive September 29, 2012 at 11:03 AM
To: Jersey Girl - Take comfort in the fact that you did something you wanted to. It's unusual that they haven't contacted you but there might be reasons for their actions that we aren't aware of. They may yet surprise you - but doing good brings its own rewards in many other ways.
Clive September 29, 2012 at 11:09 AM
Show up and find out for sure - even if No, just showing up and supporting the cause will be worth your while.


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