Giving Back

Essex County Bone Marrow Drive Aims to Find a Match for Six-Year-Old Rare Blood Disease Patient

873e0fd6ac1053a959a3_0440caa7c9b87528f452_a8a73744081ecd2fc642_Screen_Shot_2016-02-16_at_11.12.52_PM.jpg
John Faro Vitale Bone Marrow Drive Credits: Helen Flores
9d254da0fedef2f039b5_e56e539d2ca2b9d87e0f_Screen_Shot_2016-02-16_at_11.13.16_PM.jpg
873e0fd6ac1053a959a3_0440caa7c9b87528f452_a8a73744081ecd2fc642_Screen_Shot_2016-02-16_at_11.12.52_PM.jpg

LIVINGSTON, NJ — The West Essex YMCA, a community-service organization committed to healthy living throughout Livingston and surrounding communities, is asking for the community’s help in locating a bone marrow match for six-year-old John Faro Vitale, the grandson of YMCA Executive Director Helen Flores. A Bone Marrow Drive is being held in his honor at the Y on Feb. 18 from 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in an attempt to find a match.

John Faro, a first grader who loves to play soccer and watch football, was recently diagnosed with Fanconi Anemia, a rare blood disease that only effects 700-800 people in the United States and requires a bone marrow transplant. According to Flores, when John Faro was diagnosed, it was also determined that John Faro’s bone marrow type is equally as rare and the family has yet to find a match.

Flores and the other Executive Directors at the Metro YMCA of the Oranges, including the YMCAs of Sussex, Wayne and South Mountain, as well as the Madison and Staten Island YMCAs, are teaming up to save the lives of kids like John Faro and other kids suffering from similar disease. If not John Faro’s, Flores said there are other lives that need saving and kids all over the country that could benefit from the community’s contributions.

Sign Up for E-News

“I need to get people here to get swabbed so maybe we can find a match,” said Flores, who has been supported by the Livingston Board of Education (LBOE), the Livingston Area Chamber of Commerce (LACC), Health Community Healthy Youth (HCHY), and other local organizations throughout the process. “I’m overwhelmed. Everyone has been so helpful to me to get the word out and I’m so grateful—there’s no other place like Livingston.”

Visiting her grandson at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and hearing the heartbreaking stories of other innocent kids with blood diseases, leukemia and other illnesses has Flores more determined than ever to spread the word about “Be the Match,” a national marrow donor program. According to Flores, every $100 raised helps add another member to the registry and every marrow donation is an opportunity to find a match.

John Faro is already in the registry, with more than 12-million donors, but the more people that donate, the more likely the Vitale family is to find a match. All it takes is a quick swab of the inside of a cheek and it could mean the difference between life and death for John Faro or another kid like him.

According to Flores, the Be the Match Registry has the best success with donors between 18 and 44 years old. Patients with diseases like leukemia, lymphoma or sickle cell anemia are also more likely to match someone who shares their ethnic background. 

Since the West Essex Y is known in Livingston for its community service projects, local organizations are teaming up to help Flores, a close friend of the community's, in her family's time of need. 

“Of course we are all devastated by the news but [John Faro] has been stable for the last three weeks so that gives us hope and buys us time until they can determine the best course of action for him,” said HCHY President Alan Karpas. “Please help us support Helen by spreading the word and attending the Bone Marrow Drive.”

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

SOMA

Columbia High School Principal's Removal Raises More Questions Than It Answers

The last Twitter post from Columbia High School principal Elizabeth Aaron is very telling. 

The four-year CHS schools chief, who was recently, surprisingly, reassigned to a vague “Principal on Special Assignment” post by the school district, was a Twitter regular on her @CougarPrincipal account. There she would often promote the school’s successes and notable staff and ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 18

On this week’s AtlantiCast, you’ll find out how accessing care at Atlantic Health System is now easier, more affordable and closer to home than ever, learn which item from the produce aisle could be the newest weapon against cancer, see what Atlantic Health System, the New York Times and Instagram all have in common and much more.

 

 

Maplewood Police Blotter - Stolen Vehicle in Maplewood Recovered by South Orange Police

July 18, 2018

July 11 - Motor Vehicle Theft; Sometime during the early morning hours, a vehicle was stolen from a residence on the 400 block of Richmond Ave. The vehicle was recovered by the South Orange Police Department the same morning.

Maplewood Police Blotter - Two Robberies Reported on July 5

July 2 - Motor Vehicle Theft; Sometime over the previous two days, a U-Haul truck was stolen from a business on Newark Way.

July 4 - Theft from Auto; During the overnight hours an unsecured vehicle parked on Elberta Rd was entered and keys were stolen from it.

July 5 - Robberies; At approximately 1:30 a.m., a male was assaulted by two males ridding bicycles while he was walking on ...

Free 'Movies in the Park' on July 18 and August 23 in Maplewood

July 16, 2018

MAPLEWOOD, NJ - Free "Movies in the Park" are planned for Wednesday, July 18, and Thursday, August 23, a program hosted by the Maplewood Police Department in conjunction with the Maplewood Recreation Department, the Maplewood Office of Cultural Affairs, SOMA Film Festival and SOMA Municipal Alliance.

The movie on July 18 will be The Incredibles, shown in Dehart Park, ...

National Weather Service Issues Heat Advisory Through 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 17

NEW YORK, NY, - The National Weather Service issued a 'Heat Advisory' this morning for Bergen, Passaic, Essex, Union and Hudson Counties in New Jersey. The heat advisory will remain in effect from noon Monday July 16, until 6 p.m. Tuesday July 17.

Extreme heat can cause illness and death among at- risk population who cannot stay cool. The heat and humidity may cause heat stress during ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_982bc8344531b1a37c85_par_440

Fri, July 20, 7:00 PM

Par 440 Restaurant & Lounge, Short Hills

The Extra Rich In Class Dinner Show with E.R.I.C.

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

Carousel_image_af1b89eae735bf536426_par440_promo

Fri, July 20, 7:00 PM

Par 440 Restaurant & Lounge, Short Hills

The Extra Rich In Class Dinner Show with E.R.I.C.

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

Carousel_image_d36e8541b1fb2e142ef9_bobbyvalli_par440_3_dates__11x17

Sat, July 21, 7:30 PM

Par 440 Restaurant & Lounge, SHORT HILLS

Solid Gold with Bobby Valli at Par 440

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

Carousel_image_839567c057b5b1db93e9_bill-boat_504x353_web

Thu, July 26, 6:00 PM

River Barge Park & Marina, Carlstadt

Meadowlands Discovery Sunset Eco-Cruise

Green Travel

Statement From Emergency Committee to Reinstate Principal Aaron

July 10, 2018

** TUESDAY RALLY IS CANCELLED **

We created a movement. We leveraged our collective 1,600 voices and forced the District leadership to sit with us today [Monday] and discuss the poorly communicated, weekend announcement that CHS Principal Elizabeth Aaron was being reassigned.

Our meeting was a first step in both accountability and transparency as Dr. Ficarra revealed Principal ...

Coalition on Race Responds to Changes in School District Administrators

The Board of Trustees of the Community Coalition on Race seeks racial equity, integration, and excellence in education for all students in our schools. While the pace of change has been frustratingly slow, we have seen some progress. Yet, candidly, there are too many students of color who are not well served in SOMA, who still experience segregated classrooms and who still suffer from racial ...

Those Boarded-Up Homes in the West Ward? Newark Has a Plan for Them.

July 19, 2018

NEWARK, NJ - The city is using the power of eminent domain to reduce the number of condemned homes and vacant lots scattered throughout the West Ward.

The redevelopment plan for the West Ward was introduced in 2016 and encompasses properties from the border of Irvington to South 13th Street between South Orange Avenue and 16th Avenue. One of the main goals of the plan is to support new ...

Lawmakers Denounce SCOTUS Nomination at Essex County Courthouse

NEWARK, NJ - State Assemblywoman Eliana Pintor Marin said it was important to support local women’s health organizations at a state level should President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court justice nominee be approved.

The assemblywoman joined state Sen. Teresa Ruiz, congressional leaders and women's rights groups yesterday at the steps of the Essex County Courthouse ...

Rutgers Hikes Tuition, Student Fees for 2018-2019 Academic Year

July 18, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Rutgers University Board of Governors today approved a 2.3 percent hike in tuition and fees, as well as increases for dorm rooms and meals, for the 2018-2019 academic year.

The increase now brings the annual cost for undergraduate students to $14,975, which is $337 more than this past school year.

Student housing will increase 1.9 percent, and ...

NJ Residents Take Action Against White Supremacist Fliers Found Around Bridgewater, Bedminster, Other Local Areas

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Residents of Bridgewater, Somerville, Morristown and surrounding communities are mobilizing for action after they found posters around town promoting Identity Evropa, which the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has labeled a white supremacist group.

According to Bridgewater resident Stacey Friedlander, a member of the “Not In Our Town – Bridgewater/Raritan” ...

New Plumber Joins the Woolley Home Solutions Team

July 16, 2018

We are excited to announce a new addition to the Woolley team! Our new plumber, Oscar Buonafina, is an expert plumber with nearly a decade of industry experience serving New Jersey homeowners. He is also a NJ Master Plumber Since 2007. As a military veteran, Oscar truly understands hard work and commitment, and we’re so happy to bring him on board!

"I believe in service to people ...

Maplewood Brings Local Youth to the Governing Table With the Youth Advisory Committee

The Maplewood Township Committee cordially invites diverse student residents of Maplewood who are enrolled in private or public school in grades 8 through 12 to apply to serve on its new Youth Advisory Committee.  In order to continue empowering local youth whose recent advocacy on - gun safety, safe schools, voting rights, immigration, greater institutional equity and inclusion, to name a ...

Repairs to Boyden Avenue Between Elmwood Avenue and Springfield Avenue

On Monday, July 16, road repairs to the south side of Boyden Avenue between Elmwood Avenue and Springfield Avenue will take place for approximately one week pending weather conditions. There will be access to the pool parking lot for pool members and NJ Transit employees. Signage and police officers will be present to direct traffic.