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Darnestown Parent Encourages Residents To Donate Bone Marrow to Save Daughter


WASHINGTON — Some people might think volunteering to be put on a bone marrow donor registry is heroic.

But it’s actually quite easy, and not even that painful if it turns out you’re a match, according to the mom of a local girl who needs a marrow transplant.

“And, they’re going to treat you like royalty,” said Lisa Patterson Troike, of Darnestown, Maryland.

Natasha Troike 11, was diagnosed with aplastic anemia in March and needs a “perfect match” bone marrow donation to be cured.

 “To be tested to be a donor, all you have to do is a swab of the inside of your cheek,” Troike said. “To be a donor, 75 percent of the time the stem cells can be taken directly from your blood, just like giving blood.”

In a quarter of bone marrow donations, a person is put under anesthesia to have marrow removed from the back of the pelvis. Natasha, 11, has had the procedure three times.

“Natasha, is it that bad to have it done?” her mother inquired.

“No,” the child responded. “When you wake up, it just feels like you got kicked in the back.”

Since being diagnosed in March, Natasha has filled her days being tutored — since she can’t go to school — and with twice-weekly visits to the hospital.

“My white blood cells are low — [they’re] the things that fight infections and flu and that kind of stuff,” Natasha explained.

Troike said modern technology allowing her daughter to communicate using FaceTime has been a blessing.

“She just wants to be able to go back to school and back to birthday parties and movies and being a regular 11-year-old kid,” Troike said.

Appealing to people to get registered for her daughter and for tens of thousands of other people needing bone marrow transplants, Troike said potential donors aren’t required to donate if their match is with someone they don’t know, but she recommends it.

Darnestown Girl In Need Of Bone Marrow Transplant“It being this wonderful, beautiful holiday season, save a life this season,” Troike said.

The “Cure Natasha Drive” will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 19 at the Darnestown Presbyterian Church, at 15120 Turkey Foot Rd. in Darnestown.

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