Thursday, September 2, 2004

Sycamore grad still
seeking marrow match

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As Michael Ludlow fights acute lymphoblastic leukemia at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, relatives and friends - including the Sycamore High School class of 1970 - are trying to find a donor match for a bone marrow transplant.

Ludlow, 52, graduated from Sycamore in 1970, the University of Cincinnati in 1974 and the University of Pittsburgh in 1988 with a master's in business administration. He was a vice president at Pittsburgh Plate Glass Co.

He was diagnosed with the disease in November. Lymphoblastic leukemia is a form of cancer that affects infection-fighting cells.

Mike Ludlow and Debbie Eck
Mike Ludlow and sister Debbie Eck of Fairfield, Conn.
(Provided to The Enquirer)
His daughter, Jamie Ludlow of Pittsburgh, said he has received treatments at various hospitals around the country.

"His disease is very advanced, and the doctors have made it clear to us that the only way he will survive is by receiving a bone marrow transplant,'' she said.

No match was found after blood drives in Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. And none was found on the national registry for bone marrow donors.

"While a mismatch is often due to ethnicity reasons, which in his (her father's) case suggests the American Indian heritage in the family, things this precise cannot always be determined for sure,'' Jamie Ludlow said.

Mike Ludlow is married to Patty Ludlow, and they are parents of two other daughters, Kelly and Morgan of Pittsburgh.

Rotarians help school agency

More than 20 Rotarians and their families from the Blue Ash Montgomery Rotary were busy from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday helping stock shelves at Crayons to Computers, 1350 Tennessee Ave. in Bond Hill.

The mission was to make available the basic tools for the school year.

Crayons to Computers serves 164 schools in 13 counties in Greater Cincinnati. The agency is a free store for teachers. At no cost, the agency transfers the community's surplus supplies and merchandise to teachers and schoolchildren in need.

Many of the Blue Ash Montgomery Rotarians have made cash donations, matched by their local and district clubs.

As Rotary celebrates 100 years, the group emphasized its mission of service in community, workplace and the world.

Dinners fight cancer

In observance of September as National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, CancerFree Kids is sponsoring a "Chow Down for Charity,'' which allows residents to go out to dinner with a portion of proceeds donated to CancerFree Kids.

Ellen Flannery, founder and president of CancerFree Kids, said dinners have been scheduled at participating restaurants on specific days during September to raise awareness of the need for research monies.

For more information, call 575-5437.

"I was a classmate of Mike's for four years at Sycamore,'' said Kim Glenn Glevicky of Blue Ash. Glevicky helped to promote a blood drive in Cincinnati in August.

Kevin Meyer, program coordinator for the National Marrow Donor Program at the Hoxworth Blood Center, said it is harder to find a match for minorities. "Caucasians have a 90 percent chance of finding a match, while if you lump all the minorities together, there is less than a 50 percent chance of finding a match.''

Anyone can be put on the national registry by simply giving a blood sample.

"A lot of people are unwilling to become potential donors because they fear that they will have to undergo a serious surgical procedure,'' Jamie Ludlow said. "It is a one-day procedure that only leaves you sore for a few days.'' To register to be tested, call 558-1891.

YMCA Character Award

Freedom for Fauziya Abdul Rab has a special tag on it. As the native of Afghanistan accepts the YMCA Character Award in October, she can reflect on many obstacles in her life.

As a child in Afghanistan, she was shot in the arm and leg by a sniper.

"I have fully recovered,'' said Fauziya, 17. Her family came to Cincinnati three years ago.

"I didn't speak any English when I came to America. I love it here,'' she said.

The family first fled to Russia, where Fauziya's father died.

Fauziya, a McAuley junior, now lives with Jerry and Barbara Bok, Springfield Township, who sponsored the family to come to the United States. Fauziya continues to stay with the Boks and with her mother and five siblings in Winton Terrace on weekends.

She was nominated for the award by her English teacher, Pam Vissing. Vissing said she nominated Fauziya because of her strong character and her drive to get an education. .

Vissing said Fauziya has struggled with language and other challenges, but remains determined.

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