CLARK, NJ - While most people were looking forward to the holiday season, Clark resident Nick DeLoretto checked into the hospital to begin a minimum seven-week series of treatments for Myelodysplastic Syndrome. During that time, DeLoretto visited his family from the window of his hospital room as they gathered on the street below according to his wife Darcy.
“We’d wave at him, and talk to him from his isolation unit,” she said. “Nick is a happy, positive person, and he still is positive.”
MDS is a rare blood disorder that will progress into leukemia according to his family. DeLoretto has undergone multiple blood transfusions and rounds of chemotherapy, but his best chance of survival is dependent on a stem cell transplant from a matched donor according to doctors.
Even though he is one of ten children and has a large extended family, DeLoretto has been unable to find a match. The family is appealing to the community to consider being a hero and determining if they might be the match he needs. According to information shared by the family, “an unrelated genetic match exists for all blood cancer patients.”
Determining the likelihood of a match is done with a simple swabbing of a person’s mouth in the comfort of their home according to DeLoretto’s wife. It takes less than ten minutes. A person just needs to visit the be-the-match website, text NickyD to 61474 or scan the QR below to get a swab kit and directions sent to them.
Good Morning America host Robin Roberts is a MDS survivor thanks to a life-saving transplant from her sister. Darcy DeLoretto said Roberts, reached out to her and even shared a message through her social media outlets about Nick.
“I’m forever grateful to have received a lifesaving bone marrow transplant… however the vast majority of people in need of a transplant are unable to find a match in their family. Right now, Nicky needs a match and time is of the essence. Doctors have determined that his best chance of survival is a stem cell transplant. With no matches in his family Nicky remains resiliently optimistic a match will be found.”
DeLoretto has lived in Clark with his family for over 20 years. He works as an electrician and has been active with neighbors, friends, and in the community as a soccer coach for many years. According to the flyer distributed by his family, it is he who needs the act of kindness now.
“Far too often, we forget just how connected we all are and the difference that we can make in one another’s lives. We take for granted the power that one simple act of kindness can have…you could be the match that saves a life.”
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