Bone marrow drive for Gerry Proulx

SOUTHWICK – A quick cheek swab could decide whether or not you could help save a life.
That’s how bone marrow donors are screened – with a cheek swab – a fast test that determines if one of 10,000 people who desperately need to find a bone marrow match will get a second chance.
Southwick’s own Gerry Proulx is one of those people.
Proulx, a 30-year charter member of the Southwick Rotary Club, has always led an energetic and healthy life. Six months ago, Proulx received devastating news when he was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a cancer of the plasma cells, a type of white blood cell normally responsible for producing antibodies.
“He has always had a healthy, active life,” said fellow Rotarian Ellen C. Miles. “To have this diagnosis is devastating.”
Miles said Proulx is a “wonderful person.” She has known him professionally and personally and said he is a great community supporter.
“He is always helping someone in any way he can,” she said.
Multiple myeloma is the second most common hematological malignancy in the US, and constitutes 1 percent of all cancers. Proulx is currently undergoing an aggressive course of chemotherapy at Bay State Medical Center in Springfield. Proulx is confident that he can win this battle. For now, the ultimate cure would be a bone marrow transplant. You could be the match for a patient like him.
Registration is simple – just paperwork and a cheek swab.
To help find Proulx’s match, the Southwick Rotary Club is hosting an event Wednesday, Aug. 22, at Moo-licious Farm on Feeding Hills Road from 5-8 p.m.
Tissue typing & processing fees are covered by most health insurance companies in RI, CT, MA & NH.
If you do not have health insurance or your insurance does not cover, the drive sponsor, Michael’s Fund of Fall River, will cover the cost. There is no out of pocket expense to register. Participants must be age 18-60 and should bring their insurance cards. If you match, most donations are done through an automated blood donation.
For more information, call 800-283-8385 ext. 720 or email [email protected].
Miles said even if someone is not able to register, their presence at the drive is important.
“Just come and show your support,” she said.

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