Chicago Mom of 4 Donates Bone Marrow to 7-Year-Old Boy She Doesn't Know. 'You Just Want to Protect Them.'

Chicago Mom of 4 Donates Bone Marrow to 7-Year-Old Boy She Doesn't Know. 'You Just Want to Protect Them.'

By ALISON BOWEN
Karen Leone is seen at her home on July 29, 2020, in Chicago. Leone donated her bone marrow in June to a 7-year-old boy with Hodgkin lymphoma. (John J. Kim / Chicago Tribune)

Karen Leone is seen at her home on July 29, 2020, in Chicago. Leone donated her bone marrow in June to a 7-year-old boy with Hodgkin lymphoma. (John J. Kim / Chicago Tribune)

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Chicago mom of 4 donates bone marrow to 7-year-old boy she doesn’t know via @DKMS_US. ‘You just want to protect them.’ https://bit.ly/39Q7CyD #DeleteBloodCancer
Friday, July 31, 2020 - 11:15am

CONTENT: Article

Months passed and the pandemic began. And then Leone, a lawyer and co-founder of a tech startup, received a call that she was a match for a 7-year-old boy who has Hodgkin lymphoma. She was asked if she was still willing to be a donor.

“I said, absolutely,” she said.

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More than 170,000 Americans are diagnosed each year with a blood cancer; it’s the second most common cause of death among all types of cancer. Only 30% of patients find a donor within their family.

People can register at DKMS.org to become a donor, which includes an eligibility and health screening, and a cheek swab. The need for African American donors is especially urgent. Sickle cell is most common among African Americans.

Register now to save a life!