Community steps up for Kibby's bone marrow drive - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Ahwatukee Sports

Community steps up for Kibby's bone marrow drive

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Posted: Thursday, March 27, 2014 10:23 pm | Updated: 11:19 pm, Thu Mar 27, 2014.

It shouldn’t even been surprising at this point.

Tell me if you’ve heard this one before: Someone in the Ahwatukee community needed help and the response was overwhelming. Surprise, surprise.

This time around it happened on Saturday at Desert Vista for the “Ryan Kibby Bone Marrow Drive.”

More than 150 people checked to see if they were a match for Kibby over the weekend.

Being tested is one way to help with the other being donations in order to bring down the costs of the $100 it costs to register someone willing to be tested.

For more information on how to help go to: http://www.bethematchfoundation.org/goto/Kibby

In case you missed the initial story on Kibby, a freshman baseball player for the Thunder, here is some additional info:

Ryan was diagnosed with severe Aplastic anemia, a disease that between 600 and 900 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with each year, when he was 9 years old.

Aplastic anemia is a disease of the bone marrow caused by destruction of the blood-forming stem cells in the bone marrow. Patients with severe Aplastic anemia are at risk for life-threatening infections or bleeding because the bone marrow stops making enough red cells, white cells and platelets for the body.

Research suggests the stem cell destruction occurs because the body's immune system attacks its own cells by mistake.

Essentially, he has the bone marrow of a 90-year-old man.

Ryan’s positive response to immunosuppressive drug therapy allowed his body to produce enough blood cells and lead a normal lifestyle.

However, this was not a cure and in recent months his blood counts have been steadily declining. A second immunosuppressive therapy is not recommended in Ryan’s case and he will need to proceed with a bone marrow/stem cell transplant.

A bone marrow/stem cell transplant involves killing the bone marrow stem cells with chemotherapy and radiation which also kills the immune system. Blood-forming stem cells from a healthy donor are then introduced into the bloodstream.

A well-matched donor is important to the success of the transplant. Unfortunately, seven out of 10 of patients who need a transplant don't find a matching donor in their family.

And that was the case with Ryan’s family.

So the hope is that someone is can be the right match.

Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or jskoda@ahatukee.com. Follow him on Twitter @JSkodaAFN.

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