Tracy Olson Needs Your Help

As we from time to time overwhelm ourselves with the follies of football, there are moments that are defining in nature and cause us to stop and see the real picture...life and how precious it really is and the love we show our fellow man (or woman) everyday. I am making a plea to all of you to help a person who desperately needs it.

Tracy Olson, a 32-year old wife and mother of a 5-year old daughter, has recurrent leukemia. If she does not receive a bone marrow transplant, she will not live long-term.

She is currently under medical care and will go through chemotherapy (again) but this will not cure her, as she has previously gone through this this past spring. The hope will be to, via chemo, get the leukemia into temporary remission, then do a bone marrow transplant. The best option - family members - was not successful in identifying a match. She needs a non-relative bone marrow transplant.

The process in finding a potential candidate begins with a simple finger stick test. Then, if one is indeed identified as a match, one would be admitted to the hospital and receive either local or general anesthesia. Then marrow is extracted from the hip and you go home the same day with some residual soreness for a few days.

Now comes the financial side...the hospital involved has granted the first 100 tests free, but the additional ones will be $65.00 each. Also, for each person that "possibly" is a match after the finger stick test is read, there is a cost of $3,000 that Tracy is responsible for because insurance will not cover it. Not only are we looking for people to be tested but also people who are willing to make contributions. My email is pbouch@nmhs.net and my extension is 662-377-4551. The person really spearheading these efforts is a lady by the name of Clarissa Watts and her e-mail is cwatts@nmhs.net and her extension is 662-377-7218.

A bone marrow donor drive will be conducted Friday, November 8th, at a location to be determined - hopefully by the end of the day - from 10 to 4 in Tupelo. On Friday, November 15th, there will be one in Fulton, MS at the Girl's Scout Hut from 12 to 7. There will also be one in New Albany November 16th with time and location to be determined.

Imagine, you could be the match and thus have the opportunity to give the gift of life and the joy her family will experience from such a gift. Tracy is a lovely human being and as I went into her room with intentions of lifting her spirits, she lifted mine with her faith and warmth...by the grace of God...she is an incredible person, one that we love dearly. I can assure you that any contributions will be used appropriately. Please keep her and her family in your prayers. I know, unlike me, most of you don't know her but God does and she is His child. I pray that God will use you as a vessel to work a miracle in the life of this lady and her family. God Bless you for what you are about to do.

For more information, visit www.marrow.org. The person in Jackson involved with the bone marrow donor program is Mattie Coburn and her e-mail is mcoburn@medicine.umsmed.edu.

Paul Bouchillon


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