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Bone-marrow match could save infant

November 21, 2010

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Friends and family of 7-month-old Ryan Cuffe of Easton are desperately hoping to find a bone marrow donor to save the baby’s life.

The infant has been in Children’s Hospital since he was about 2 months old and was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disorder called IPEX syndrome two weeks ago, said his aunt, Lauren DiCicco of Natick.

To help the child, there will be a donor match drive on Nov. 28 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Natick Fire Department, 22 East Central St., where DiCicco’s husband, David, is a firefighter.

Anyone ages 18 to 60 who fits certain health criteria can participate. Cheek swabs are taken from registrants, and the results are added to a worldwide database. DiCicco said that if her nephew doesn’t find a bone marrow donor, he will not survive. Ryan’s mother, Stephanie Cuffe, a math teacher at Canton High School, is her sister.

Since only 30 percent of patients needing transplants find donors within their families, reaching out to other people is vital, according to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, which is running the donor match drive. For more information, go to www.marrow.org, or call Dana-Farber at 1-866-875-3324.

Megan McKee

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