She's miles away in Vermont, but a group of Stow people organizing a bone marrow drive Saturday for a friend with leukemia hope to find someone in northeast Ohio who is a match for Amelia Lincoln.
Lincoln, who is married to 1999 graduate James Patterson, recently relapsed which prompted friends to take action.
"He told me his wife relapsed with leukemia and we put this all together," said Annal Vyas, a close friend of the couple who were married in 2005. Vyas and more than 40 friends in the Stow area .
"There are so many people involved," said Vyas.
You can get a good idea of the people involved by going to volunteeramelia.com. There are more than 40 people coming together to plan the event:
- "Stephanie Falkenstein Nicklos, who was the senior class president of Stow '99 was really instrumental in rounding everyone up. Ann Marie Patterson, James' sister, has coordinated a lot and so has Christy Staats, a high school classmate of James," Vyas said. "So has Richard (James' brother of Sandusky) and Janice and Jim (James' mom and dad of Stow). Ann Marie is a Stow grad ('98) and Christy is a Stow grad as well ('99)."
The reason so many want to help the couple in Vermont is simple but essential:
"Because we all care about James and Amelia. It's amazing the example they've set in dealing with all of this," he said.
At the there's a chance Amelia will find a match, but those who are tested could also be a match for someone else in need of a potentially live-saving transplant.
If Lincoln wasn't the person in need of bone marrow, she most likely would be the one organizing an event like this, according to her husband.
"She is just an incredibly helpful person. She will go out of her way to form relationships to people. She would be the person putting all of this together if she wasn't thinking about something else now," Patterson told the Stow Sentry.
How to Help
Attend the !
The entire process of registering — filling out a form and taking a few swabs from the cheek — takes about 10 minutes. Donors must be at least 18-years-old to register.
It costs Be The Match about $100 to add every new member into the registry.
The goal is to add 1,000 new members to the Be The Match Registry and to raise $52,000 to help offset the cost of adding the donors into the database.
"Each person registered [costs money], so financial contributions are extremely encouraged," said Vyas.
The is also donating 20 percent of every bill from noon until 8 p.m. Saturday for the cause. and the form that MUST be printed out and brought to the restaurant.
"The support has been incredible. So many people want to reach out and help, it's extremely encouraging," he said. "I always knew that the Stow-Munroe Falls community was tight-knit, but I couldn't have imagined the amount of support we've gotten."