McRae church to hold drive for ailing local

Published 9:35am Wednesday, October 24, 2012

While a local man is currently awaiting a surgery that may very well save his life, his church family back home in Atmore are doing all they can to make sure other people suffering from his condition receive the treatment they need as well.

Phillips

McRae United Methodist Church member Bill Phillips was diagnosed with leukemia in August of 2011 and doctors determined the only way to cure his disease was through a bone marrow transplant.

Dianne Everette, pastor of Phillips’ church, said he was very blessed to have found a matching bone marrow donor and now wants her church to help make that miracle happen for others through a donor registration drive to be held Sunday noon until 2 p.m. on the church grounds.

“The miracle was that two of his sisters were actually matches,” Everette said of the rare instance when a matching donor is found almost immediately.

As for the registration drive, Everette said she knows it is something Phillips will appreciate.

“We’re doing this in his honor,” Everette said. “He is at UAB right now and will have surgery on Oct. 30.”

Everette said Sunday’s event will be a chance for people to stop by the church and find out if they are physically able to donate bone marrow through a simple, painless procedure.

“They swab your mouth,” she said. “It’s painless. You have to be between the ages of 18 and 44. They just dropped it form 60.  You also can’t have diabetes, take certain medications, have immune disease like HIV or be obese.”

Those able to donate will not be asked to provide a donation, but will rather be listed in a national registry in order to compile the names of possible donors for future patients in need.

Everette said church members will be selling barbeque sandwich sack lunches during the event for $7, with all proceeds offseting the costs of the event, as well as to provide financial relief for Phillips’ family, who will likely remain in Birmingham for months on end.

“It’s a slow recovery,” Everette said. “They earliest they will back is Febuary.”

For more information, or to join or volunteer, visit the web site wwww.bethematchfoundation.org/goto/TeamBill or contact Rachel Harris at (205) 552-9371 or via email at rharris@nmdp.org.

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