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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Lyon needs bone marrow transplant

Friday, February 9, 2007

You can take the boy out of the county -- but you can't take the county out of the boy.

That slightly altered clichÈ fits the case of Rob Lyon. As the fifth generation of a family that settled in Putnam County in the mid-1800s, Lyon always considered Greencastle and the surrounding communities as his home. Although his education and career took him -- as it takes so many -- to other cities and states, the separation was only physical. Not only did he frequently come home, he believed that any success he enjoyed was based on what he learned while growing up.

When Lyon had opportunities to give back, he made certain that Putnam County would benefit from his contributions. He particularly worked with local educators and the Putnam County Community Foundation to craft the Lyon Family Scholarship Fund, which provides monies for continuing education for individuals who work and live in Putnam County.

And now, Lyon needs help from Putnam County.

Diagnosed with leukemia (a blood cancer), Lyon needs a bone marrow transplant. In this procedure, liquid marrow is removed from a healthy volunteer and the patient receives it, much like a blood transfusion. The donor and patient do not need to be in the same location, and the procedure does not affect the donor's white cell or platelet count. In fact, the marrow is completely replaced in four to six weeks.

However, as with organ transplants, there needs to be a close DNA match. And that's where the significance of Putnam County comes into play.

Based on blood type and genetics, the chances are greater that the best match for Lyon will come from someone from central Indiana rather than anywhere else.

The Lyon family wants to capitalize on that important connection by having donor drives here. A simple cheek swab is the first step. To maximize the potential for a good match, volunteers should be between the ages of 18 and 40, and be in good health and have no history of serious health problems. In addition, the most likely candidates will have B+ blood type, and a family ancestry from England, Scotland, or Ireland, with some French, German, or Dutch mixed in.

Drives will be Feb. 18, 19, and 20 at local churches and schools.

Contact the Putnam County Community Foundation at 653-4978 for additional information, locations, and times. There is no charge for the test.

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