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Fremd Math Team organizes stem cell drive to save Fremd alumnus’s life

Photo+courtesy+of+Aaron+Lee
Photo courtesy of Aaron Lee

Photo courtesy of Aaron Lee

Photo courtesy of Aaron Lee

Safa Saied, News writer

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Numerous rare diseases have surfaced in the last couple of decades. It’s not easy to understand the reality of situations like these unless we know someone personally who is going through it themselves.  Cancer has been inflicting with the lives of people for centuries now and there are still people and families endlessly searching for an answer to their loved one’s diagnosis.

Aaron Lee, a 2001 Fremd graduate, was diagnosed with Stage 6 Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a cancer that can be cured by a stem cell transplant. For Lee, the stem cell transplant would be his only shot at survival. Continuing his chemotherapy would only keep him alive for another year.

The Fremd math team, eager to help, decided to organize a stem cell drive in effort to save Lee’s life. On Dec.15 in the Fremd High School Faculty Cafeteria from 5-8 pm, anyone from the ages of 18-44 can participate. Participants need a completed registration form and will undergo a cheek swab at the drive.

Aaron Lee expressed his gratitude in an interview over the phone.

“The overwhelming support is amazing when you’re going through things like chemo it helps to bring positivity into these types of situations,” Lee said. “It’s all dependent on who chooses to donate and whether or not it’s a match but this community and Fremd are doing so much and it’s very appreciated”.

Math team sponsor Christopher Grattoni, Lee’s former classmate at Fremd, is encouraging local residents to join in.


“Aaron has had numerous drives organized on his behalf since his diagnosis in September. While these drives have led to other patients finding their match, Aaron is still searching,” Grattoni said. “I knew it would mean a lot to him to have his high school community and hometown rally around him. It has been a truly incredible experience seeing how supportive people in the community have been.”

Aaron Lee was kind enough to participate in an interview over the phone.

“The overwhelming support is amazing when you’re going through things like chemo it helps to bring positivity into these types of situations. It’s all dependent on who chooses to donate and whether or not it’s a match but this community and Fremd are doing so much and it’s very appreciated”.

Junior Kashif Javed thinks this opportunity is beneficial to students who are able to participate.

“I am currently not 18 so I can’t personally donate and I also don’t know if I’m going or not but I believe that this is a great opportunity for students who are of age,” Javed said. “The main problem with diseases is the suddenness. I think it’s great that this drive is trying to mitigate that”.

District 211 is encouraging students to join, but they must have a parent with them on Dec. 15 if they would like to join the registry.

Freshman Abby Rydberg thinks the event has a good cause and wishes she could participate.

“I didn’t know about this before right now. Fremd has always been a very generous and thoughtful school and I’m happy that this is happening,” Rydberg said. “If I was 18 would definitely donate.”

For more information, please visit the following websites:

https://bethematch.org/support-the-cause/donate-bone-marrow/donation-faqs/
https://www.facebook.com/Match4Aaron/

 

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Fremd Math Team organizes stem cell drive to save Fremd alumnus’s life