High-schooler plans bone marrow drive for senior project

Apr. 22, 2014 @ 03:28 PM

A local high-school student’s senior project will not only help her graduate, but may even help save her father’s life or someone else’s life.
Abigayle Gardner, a senior at Southwest Guilford High School, has organized a bone marrow drive to educate the community about the importance of being a bone marrow donor and to recruit potential bone marrow donors. The drive is being held in honor of Abigayle’s father, Brian Gardner, who was recently diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia.
The event will be held Friday, from 6 to 10 p.m., at Deep River Recreation Center, 1529 Skeet Club Road.
The nonprofit Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation, a public bone marrow and blood stem cell registry headquartered in Boca Raton, Fla., will provide cheek swab kits allowing individuals who are between the ages 18 and 60 and who are in general good health to be tested as potential bone marrow donors. The cheek swab is a fast and painless way of registering potential marrow donors.
In addition to the bone marrow cheek swabs, attendees can purchase a slice of pizza and a drink for $3, and choose from an assortment of baked goods for sale for dessert. There will also be a silent auction with a number of items that have been donated by establishments in the community, as well as a 50-50 raffle.
Proceeds from the silent auction, 50-50 raffle, pizza and bake sale will help offset the cost of the cheek swab kits being provided by Gift of Life. The kits cost the foundation $60 apiece, so additional donations will also be welcome.
Cancer is nothing new to Abigayle’s family. Last April, her mother Karen was diagnosed with breast cancer; she’s currently in remission after undergoing chemotherapy. Now, her father is awaiting a bone marrow transplant to beat his leukemia.
“In order for Abigayle’s dad to live, he will have to depend on someone else who is willing to donate their bone marrow,” said Lisa Davenport, a neighbor who helped Abigayle organize Friday’s bone marrow drive.
Davenport wanted to help, she said, because she lost her husband, David Davenport, to the same leukemia 3½ years ago.

Want to go?

Abigayle Gardner’s bone marrow drive will be held Friday, from 6 to 10 p.m., at Deep River Recreation Center, 1529 Skeet Club Road.
For more information, contact Lisa Davenport at (704) 213-1533.