Cancer victim remembered at bone marrow drive
Jun 24, 2011 (Reading Eagle - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Friends of Amanda Christel and Michel'Le "Misha" Daughtry were among the first to line up Thursday at a bone marrow drive in St. Joseph Medical Center.
Christel, 22, a 2007 Gov. Mifflin High School graduate, had organized the effort in honor of Daughtry, who died of acute myelogenous leukemia on March 22 at age 21.
The two were roommates at Temple University, where they had met on the first day of their freshman year.
Angela Cook, 20, Lehighton, Carbon County, was there Thursday as both a volunteer to help run the event and to get tested.
Although she wasn't friends with Daughtry, she became friends with Christel at Alvernia University, where they're both now studying nursing.
"When Amanda was upset, I was upset for her," Cook said. "And Amanda is such a caring person, it doesn't surprise me at all that she organized this."
Molly O'Neill, 21, of Easton was friends with some of Daughtry's roommates and had seen Daughtry fairly often and even visited her in the hospital.
The event Thursday made O'Neill think of Daughtry.
"I wanted to get tested to see if I could save a life," O'Neill said.
Jen Dimon, 22, Pine Grove, Schuylkill County, came because she was O'Neill's roommate at East Stroudsburg University, from where they just graduated.
"I think it's great that so many young people came out today to support this," Dimon said as she looked at the two dozen faces of 20-somethings who showed up at the drive's midafternoon start.
Daughtry, who grew up in New Jersey and Virginia, underwent a bone marrow transplant in September 2009.
The donor was a stranger and Misha was grateful for the match.
She was declared free of cancer, but the disease later returned.
Daughtry never gave up hope, and that hope is what inspired Christel to organize the event at St. Joseph, where Amanda is a clinical associate in the emergency room.
About 100 people showed up to have four cheek swabs taken to see if their marrow is a match for anyone in need.
If a match is found, donors typically undergo a noninvasive, outpatient procedure.
"Thanks so much for coming," Christel told almost everyone who participated Thursday.
Contact Jason Brudereck: 610-371-5044 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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