Blood drive, marrow registration to benefit parishioner

Posted: December 18, 2014 at 4:44 pm

George Osgoodby, a parishioner of St. Luke's Church in Ho-Ho-Kus, is waiting for his perfect match. The 59-year-old Waldwick resident was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML), an aggressive form of cancer, back in October, and a bone marrow transplant is his best chance of a cure.

photo courtesy of nancy osgoodby

George Osgoodby, a parishioner of St. Luke's Church in Ho-Ho-Kus, is battling cancer and may need a bone marrow transplant. The church responded by offering the building for a blood and bone marrow drive on Dec. 20.

Though somewhere around 11 million people belong to the Be The Match bone marrow registry, operated by the National Marrow Donor Program, Osgoodby's ideal donor has not yet been found.

The community will come together in support of him at St. Lukes's Church for a blood and bone marrow drive this Saturday, Dec. 20 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and with a few simple swabs of the cheek, could give him, or someone else the gift of life.

Osgoodby's sister, Nancy, said her brother, a successful businessman, husband and father, and an avid scuba diver, who enjoys fishing and boating, began to experience symptoms during the summer. He was becoming lightheaded and dizzy when he would bend over, short of breath when going up stairs, and began to experience joint pain.

Doctors initially thought it was a cardiac problem, but found nothing during a workup. A blood panel later showed that his hemoglobin and blood counts were low and a bone marrow biopsy revealed he was suffering with AML. The diagnosis came as a blow, especially since Osgoodby's father had succumbed to the disease just a few years ago.

Osgoodby has been receiving high dose chemotherapy treatments, during which he is inpatient at Hackensack University Medical Center. He will continue with the treatments monthly until a match is found for him in the registry and Nancy said he has needed frequent blood transfusions throughout the process.

Still, his spirits are good, his sister reports, and the family feels fortunate to have a great medical team caring for Osgoodby and thankful for all those that donate blood, or sign up for the registry.

"It means so much, I can't believe how many transfusions he's needed," Nancy said. "It has really made me aware of how many people need blood, how vital it is and it's not something you can just buy - people have to be willing to take the time to donate it - same with bone marrow. We're very touched that people are willing to do this. We've received an amazing response from people in the community."

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Blood drive, marrow registration to benefit parishioner

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