Mya's marrow - saving lives

By: Courtney Lassiter Email
By: Courtney Lassiter Email

A Bowling Green man hopes the chain of miracles that saved his life will save some else's.

You probably remember when Philip Schardein was diagnosed with leukemia in May 2003. His sister Chappell was a perfect match, but when Philip's leukemia relapsed doctors suggested finding another donor.

Family and friends scrambled to hold a bone marrow screening at First Baptist Church in Bowling Green, Ky., where more than 3,000 people turned out. Philip said from that screening not only is he alive to tell us his story, but more than 20 others were saved because of your efforts.

"If you think about it, if I never would have relapsed that bone marrow drive wouldn't have taken place and the those 20 people wouldn't have had a second chance at life," Philip said.

Philip's doctors told him it's very rare to find bone marrow matches.

"They said to expect only seven in our lifetime and it hasn't even been over four years and there's been over 20," Philip said.

Philip also said thanks to community support he is a walking miracle.

"There are people in this community that I didn't know or have never met that were praying for me," Philip said. "I believe in the power of prayer and I know how strong that is."

Philip believes this community can do it again. Baby Mya Henderson has leukemia and her family is holding a drive of their own to save her life. Although Philip can't donate he wants to make sure Mya gets the same support he did because it worked.

"Go, save Mya and if you don't match her you can potentially match someone else around the world," Philip said.

Philip said he literally owes his life to his sister, Chappell, and to many of you who spent hours praying for his health.

"You don't understand how great it is until you save someones life," Chappell said.

"What more could you do in this world than help save a life?" Philip asked.

When Philip's sister, Chappell, donated bone marrow it was a painful process that left her sore. Now new technology has allowed doctors to swab out your mouth with cotton to see if you are a match.

On May 7, 2007, from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. at Western Kentucky University's Diddle Arena you can help save Mya Henderson's life simply by seeing if you could be a donor. The bone marrow and blood cell screening is free. You have to be between the ages of 18 and 60 and in good health.

Thanks Mom Marrow Donor Drive
Thousands of people do not have a matching donor in their family. They are searching for a volunteer donor, someone willing to step forward to save the life of a stranger. In hopes of recruiting 20,000 new donors the national event Thanks Mom Marrow Donor Drive will be May 7-21, 2007. To find out more about this event visit www.marrow.org, because becoming sharing the gift of life is a great way to say "Thanks, Mom!"


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