Moore County Man a Marrow Match for Italian Girl
Posted November 26, 2000 6:00 a.m. EST
MOORE COUNTY — A Moore County man is about to help a little girl he does not even know. The girl lives in Italy and but their bone marrow is a perfect match.
Retired Air Force Master Sergeant Mark Adkins has a second career with the Employment Security Commission. Something he did while in the service is about to change his life.
In 1998, Adkins was working out at a gym where a bone marrow donation drive was going on. Not thinking twice, he signed up.
He had forgotten about it until he got a call recently that he was a match. Now Adkins' signature will help save the life of an 11-year-old in Italy who is suffering from aplastic anemia.
The 44-year-old will travel from Moore County to Georgetown Medical Center in Washington DC for the operation. His bone marrow will then be sent by courier to Italy.
Adkins will have some discomfort, but he says a little pain is worth it if he can save a life.
"I have a little girl at home and I'd hope someone out there would do the same thing for my daughter," he says.
The donation was to take place Tuesday, but the girl came down with a minor infection. Adkins says he is on standby and hopes to be able to head to Washington in the next couple of days.
Being a non-family member donor is extremely rare; only about one in 20,000 will match. The molecular typing in the recipient and the donor's tissue must be almost exactly the same.
Each year, nearly 30,000 people with diseases like leukemia need a bone marrow or stem cell transplant.