Monday, May 10, 2004

Lithuanian to get stem-cell help


Good things happening

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Algirdas Peckys, a native of Lithuania who had been trying to raise $40,000 for a stem cell transplant, is now at the James Cancer Hospital at Ohio State University in preparation for surgery.

Peckys, 48, suffers from lymphoma, which is now in remission.

The fund drive was spearheaded by Rita Gecas Thoney, a nurse at University Hospital Medical Center.

Peckys will not need a donor. Doctors said his own blood will be used in a procedure known as an autologous stem cell transplant that works this way: a patient's bone marrow and peripheral stem cells are extracted and stored before chemotherapy and radiation therapy and are later put back.

Thoney said an outpouring of generosity from the general community and from Lithuanians in Cincinnati and Dayton and from Daughters of Lithuania of St. Petersburg, Fla.; and an anonymous donation of $13,000, have generated nearly $30,000.

Articles about Peckys have appeared in the Catholic Telegraph, and he has gained the support of Michael Flannery of WCPO-TV (Channel 9). Flannery, also host of 9 On Your Kids' Side, helped in the fund-raising effort for Peckys.

Thoney has received an Unsung Hero Award given by the Cancer Family Care Organization. She has also been selected to receive UC's Hospital Hero Award.

"This has been a positive, rewarding and moving experience for me,'' Thoney said. "We are still trying to raise the total amount of $40,000 needed.''

She said donations may be sent to the National Transplant Assistance Fund, Suite 230, 3475 West Chester Pike, Newtown Square, PA 19073. Information: (800) 642-8399.

Writing contest winners

Three sophomores at Mount Notre Dame High School, Reading, earned recognition in the College of Mount St. Joseph writing contest in a reception held at the college.

Tracy Flagg, daughter of Rick and Laura Flagg, Pleasant Ridge, won first place in poetry.

Lee Hong, daughter of Hyundae and Gwi-Rung Hong of West Chester, received honorable mention in both poetry and essay writing.

And Kathryn Wendeln, daughter of John and Sally Wendeln, Symmes Township, received honorable mention in poetry.

$3.5 million available

About $3.5 million has been made available to non-profit groups for 2004 and 2005 through the Ohio Community Service Council, the state agency that oversees AmeriCorps in Ohio.

"This funding represents a new standard in support for AmeriCorps programs throughout the state,'' said Bill Hall, director of programs for AmeriCorps.

"This gives us the ability to build upon the impact our programs have had in Ohio during the past 10 years.''

The funds are available to non-profit organizations that address education, public safety, domestic security, environmental issues or other human needs.

For more information, call (614) 995-5269.

GIVING BACK: Blood donors

The Hoxworth Blood Center honored 18 donors who reached individual milestones from April 16-30 by giving at least10 gallons of blood and platelets.

• Paul F. Michels of Villa Hills led the group by reaching 59 gallons.

• Two people reached the 24-gallon level. They were Timothy M. Young, Batavia, and Charles D. Bryan, Delhi Township.

• Daniel E. Baker, Harrison, made the list at 21 gallons, followed by Thomas P. Maly, Price Hill, at 19 and Thomas L. Hugenberg, New Richmond, at 17.

• Robert Tait, Woodlawn, and Robert B. Reis, Taylor Mill, Ky., each reached the 16-gallon level.

• David D. Toennis, West Chester, reached 15 gallons; Thomas C. Schroer, Delhi Township, 14; and Richard F. Kleiser, Montgomery, 13.

• Patrick A. McGinn, Westwood, and Martha E. Bain, Sayler Park, both made the 12-gallon mark.

• Eli E. Shupe, Hamilton, and Michael L. Mucenski, Peach Grove, both hit 11 gallons.

• Harold W. Davis, Loveland, James R. Umlauf, Bridgetown, and Michael J. Woeste, Sedamsville, reached 10 gallons.

To donate blood, call 451-0910. To organize a blood drive, call 558-1280.




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Lithuanian to get stem-cell help

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