[box]Pictured: Deb with daughter Cassidy[/box]

Deborah Ward-O’Brien lives in North Haven with her husband and daughter. She was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma several years ago, and is currently entering her third course of treatment. Deb’s only hope for a cure is a stem cell transplant, but her brother is not a match.

Deb, a nurse, has spent most of her career as an active member of various research teams (primarily in the field of women’s health) at Yale University, the CT Mental Health Center, and Yale’s Women’s Center for Behavioral Research.  Recently retired, Deb has returned to her first love, caring for and counseling the elderly.  Active in town politics until treatment interfered, Deb has served extensively on many boards and commissions in North Haven. Now, she is directing her energies toward improving the lot of others who are also challenged by this disease.  Beyond this drive, she is also spearheading a fund raiser to benefit research at the Smilow Cancer Hospital in New Haven.

Every year 10,000 men, women and children desperately search the Be The Match Registry of volunteer donors in hopes of finding a stem cell match. Deborah is an example of one of those patients.

The first step to help is to join the Marrow Registry Saturday, March 24, 2012 from 10am-2pm at the North Haven High School cafeteria. Registration is simple – it’s just paperwork and a cheek swab. There is no out-of-pocket expense to register, but please bring your health insurance card – typing fees ($112) are covered by health insurance or Michael’s Fund of Fall River, MA. To join, you only need to be between the ages of 18 and 60, be willing to donate to any patient in need, and meet the health guidelines.

For additional information, please call 1-800-MARROW-2 or visit BeTheMatch.org.

Posted by Chris

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