|MacLachlan (L) Linares (R)|
State Legislators Encourage Constituents to Help Coach
State Senator Art Linares (R-33), and State Representatives Jesse MacLachlan (R-35) and Robert Siegrist (R-36) today called for eligible residents to visit the Be the Match website to see if they can help a local field hockey coach.
Longtime Haddam-Killingworth field hockey coach Patsy Kamercia was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer that affects the blood and bone marrow. She needs a bone marrow to treat her Myelodysplastic/
Myeloproliferative Neoplasm Unclassifiable Disorder.
Sen. Linares said, “I’ve been told that Ms. Kamercia has been a selfless volunteer who started the Haddam-Killingworth High School Field Hockey Team 40 years ago and continues to coach the team in her retirement. When I learned about her illness, I knew we needed to get the word out to encourage as many people as we can to get tested as a possible match for her.”
A bone marrow drive was held for Kamercia at Haddam-Killingworth High School last week, but people can visit Be the Match to get a testing kit sent to their house. All that is required is a cheek swab to test for a DNA match.
Rep. MacLachlan said, “As a teacher and coach, Ms. Kamercia had a tremendous impact on her students and the young women she coached. The website describes the donation process, which generally is uncomfortable and has minor side effects. It’s not as dramatic or traumatic as Hollywood makes it seem.”
Be the Match says most donations are taken from the arm, but some may be taken from a donor’s pelvic bone, which involves giving the donor anesthesia.
Rep. Siegrist said, “For people with Ms. Kamercia’s disease, receiving healthy stem cells from a donor is the only treatment. Even if you are not a genetic match for her, you may be the match that saves someone else’s life. Also, as an alumnus of Haddam-Killingworth High School, I am proud to support Ms. Kamercia and this great organization.”