Alex Pasichnyk is an 11-year-old girl who is fighting for her life. She is the daughter of Lisa and Sheldon and sister to Kimber. She is a St. Albert resident who has attended École Father Jan and École Marie Poburan. She is currently enrolled at Lois Hole Elementary but sadly, has not been able to start grade 6 this year because of her illness.
In June of this year Alex was diagnosed with Aplastic Anemia with PNH clone. It is the worst of the worst to treat. She underwent a period of Intense IV drug therapy in hopes her bone marrow would recover. Should this therapy fail Alex would require an immediate bone marrow transplant to survive. Her treatment a month prior to the transplant would include intense chemotherapy and radiation, to prepare her body for a successful transplant.
We are in the process of organizing a bone marrow drive to hopefully find a match for her. We will be holding a donor drive on Saturday Nov 25 at Servus Place in St. Albert from 11am to 2pm. There will be a second on Nov 28, venue details are being sorted out as I write this and I can forward that information as it becomes available.
Potential donors for Alex are people between the age of 17 – 35 years old and of Polish, Ukrainian, or English decent. Ethnic background can play a major role in matching a donor. Having said that we encourage anyone interested to participate regardless of their ethnic back ground as many other people also require a match.
There are a few things potential donors need to be aware of, first of all a donor can’t limit themselves to only donating to Alex. If they choose to participate they may find out that they are a match for one of the other 800 people in Canada in need of a transplant. Please be assured if at any time after you are registered you choose not to donate that is completely acceptable. The choice will be yours.
The match process is a matter of registering at OneMatch.ca who is the bone marrow end of Canadian Blood Services, completing a health questionnaire and providing a cheek swab on one of the days we have scheduled. It can also be done online where they will mail you the kit after you have filled out the questionnaire, and you simply send back the swab, postage is pre-paid.
If a donor is found there are various ways of harvesting the stem cells, the most common way is very similar to a blood donation. My understanding is people typically return to their regular activities the following day. Please distribute amongst the various clubs, organizations, and contacts you have access to and hopefully they can take it to the masses they have access to and help get the word out. Thanks for your help on this, I know Alex and her family greatly appreciate it.