2013-12-06 / Top Stories

Bone Marrow Drive Set for Dec. 8th

Match Needed:

Rockaway residents are on the search for a perfect match for a 2-year-old boy who is in desperate need of a bone marrow transplant.

A Bone Marrow Drive for Owen Hogan will be held at Jameson’s (421 Beach 129th Street) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, December 8th. Owen, the son of Tim and Kathleen, has aplastic anemia, a potentially fatal blood disorder. He has been undergoing blood transfusions at least once a week since April. He also takes medications that seriously weaken his immune system. If a perfect bone marrow donor is found, Owen has a 90 percent chance of surviving. If an imperfect match is all that can be found, his chances go down to about 40 percent.

Owen’s father, Tim Hogan, is a firefighter for Engine 216 in Brooklyn. A Rockaway WISH member’s husband, Tommy Murphy, works with Tim and shared his story. Hogan was vital in helping with the recovery and rebuilding efforts after Sandy. Now Murphy, along with other Rockaway residents, is hoping to repay Hogan by holding the bone marrow drive for his son.

On November 22nd, Kathleen, Owen’s mother wrote about her son’s struggle. “Owen has been referred to as “a ticking time bomb” and we’ve been told that he doesn’t have much time left before “something bad happens.” We hope and pray every day that he remains stable enough to hold out for a donor and make it to transplant.

“Unfortunately, we are in the hospital more often and Owen is not holding on to his blood or platelet transfusions so well. He needs blood almost every week now and platelets multiple times in a week. He’s begun to have reactions to transfusions and requires additional medication to try to prevent them.

Owen continues to be at an extreme risk for infection and we continue to try to isolate him and ourselves as much as possible. Tim and I have begun to give him GCSF shots in his legs again, in hopes to boost the production of white blood cells. So far, he’s had no response,” Kathleen wrote.

“Owen continues to amaze us every day with his strength and resiliency. His endurance is visibly decreasing and he fatigues easily. But, he just says “mommy, I’m tired now,” takes a quick break, and gets right back up and hops around the house. His laughter and amazing smile help us to get through each and every day.”

The Hogan family and their friends have held several donor drives to try to find a match for Owen and they have not been successful yet. However a match could be in Rockaway. All are invited to attend the drive on Sunday at Jameson’s to have their cheek swabbed. The DNA will be entered into a database to see if there is a match for Owen or another patient who is in need of a donation. Those who are a match will be contacted further.

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