A wave of panic rushed through my body as my co-worker handed me his cell phone. My mind raced through all sorts of possibilities of what I was about to hear.
It was five years ago on a Saturday night in Saratoga Springs. I was settling into the cocktail hour at our annual New York State Press Association convention before the final dinner and round of awards. The weekend festivities were drawing to an end and I was relaxing with a glass of wine, mingling with my fellow writers.
Bill Faulk of Manorville puts himself on the national list of potential bone marrow donors by swabbing his cheeks at Saturday’s event with Joseph Latini (background, left) and organizer Patrick Gaeta. (Credit: Michael White)
Joseph Latini knows the odds aren’t in his dad’s favor.
Diagnosed with a rare form of blood cancer called multiple myeloma late last summer, his 63-year-old father, also Joseph Latini, underwent two rounds of chemotherapy — only to then find out there were no matches for him among the 18 million potential bone marrow donors on the national registry.
Without a donor, the elder Mr. Latini’s chances of survival are low.
The Latini family set out to better the odds, however narrowly, with a series of donor drives throughout Long Island.
“My father and I are both in the same business; we’re in the banking industry,” the younger Mr. Latini said. “We understand the math. If he didn’t match 18 million, what am I going to swab a few thousand?
“But I have to try. So here we are.” (more…)