Bone Marrow Drive for Packy Offield

A bone marrow donor drive will be held on the island Feb. 3 and 4 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the post office arcade.Finding a bone marrow donor will provide the best hope for a full recovery for Paxson Offield, who is currently battling leukemia.  Offield, who is an integral part of Catalina Island, was diagnosed in December and has been receiving treatment in Portland, OR.“Packy has helped thousands with his generosity,” said  Sherri Cline, who is helping organize the drive. “I know that the Catalina Island community will be there to help him.”Cline said that she hopes for a strong turnout at the two-day drive. Donors need to be between the ages of 18 and 60, although the optimum age is 18 to 44. Potential donors may also be excluded if they have had some diseases or medical conditions. “Even if you can’t be a donor, please come by to sign a community card for Packy,” Cline said. The test itself is a simple cheek swab that is painless and only takes a second or two. “Being a donor can save a life,” Cline said. “Even if you aren’t a match for Packy, there are many other people out there who may need help.”According to Be The Match, for thousands of patients with life-threatening diseases such as leukemia and lymphoma, a marrow transplant from an unrelated donor is their best or only hope for a cure. These patients depend on the Be The Match Registry to find a match – and a second chance at life. While many patients do find the life-saving match they need each year, more donors are needed to help increase the likelihood that all patients will find a match. At this time a matching donor has not been found among those already registered with Be The Match and Offield’s medical providers and family are hoping a donor drive will help identify a match. Collection kits are also available for those who are not able to attend the drive. Contact Gail Hodge at (310) 510-2000, ext. 1234, for more information.