Community comes together for bone marrow drive in support of local teachers

NEWPORT, R.I. (WPRI) — The community came together Monday at Pell Elementary School to support a pair of teachers who are battling the same rare disease.

Two employees of the Newport School Department were diagnosed with a rare form of cancer within weeks of each other.

Maureen Martin, a secretary at Rogers High School, helped organize the drive – but she also just found out about the rare form of blood and bone marrow cancer she is now battling.

“I have six years if nothing is done. You know the transplant is the only thing that can cure it so I’m really hoping for a match,” she told Eyewitness News.

Jamie Crowley fundraising event
The Newport community has organized several upcoming support events.

Jaime Crowley, the principal of Thompson Middle School, is fighting the same disease as Martin.

“He is a little bit sicker than I am right now so he can’t be here today,” Martin explained.

But both Martin and Crowley were optimistic Monday’s drive will help them – as well as others in need all over the country.

“You know it’s nerve racking but I try not to dwell on that,” Martin said. “I try to think about anything positive that can come from it.”

For anyone who wants to see if they’re a match to donate, but couldn’t make it to the drive, you can go to the Rhode Island Blood Center to be tested or you can register online at bethematch.org and receive a kit to be delivered to your house.

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