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NEW YORK (CBS 2) – A Manhattan mother and members of a Brooklyn church came together Sunday for a special mission.
A bone marrow drive was held for a woman both sides consider family.
Lola Barclay is sick with cancer, and she’s in desperate need of a bone marrow transplant.
Barclay didn’t feel well enough to attend the bone marrow registry drive that was held in her honor at her East Flatbush church. However, her spirit was everywhere – in the signs, the T-shirts, and in the determination of the people who might be a match for a transplant.
The drive was the brainchild of the woman Barclay works for, but who considers Barclay a part of her family. For the last three years, Barclay has worked as a nanny, taking care of Meredith Fogel’s two children.
When Barclay was diagnosed with an aggressive form of non-Hodgkins lymphoma, the mother started taking care of the nanny.
“I don’t have words to say what she has done for me,” nanny Lola Barclay said.
“Lola’s is a huge part of our family. She’s critical to the functioning of our household, to the development and the care of our children. She’s everything to us,” Meredith said. “She’s Lola Fogel, and she’ll always be Lola Fogel.”
When chemotherapy treatments failed to stop the cancer, Fogel started organizing bone marrow drives – one at her synagogue, and Sunday’s at Barclay’s church.
“So far, we have not been able to find a match through the national bone marrow registry,” Fogel said. “We are hoping that, through drives like these, we can locate a donor for Lola.”
One of the challenges that Lola is facing is that there are relatively few African Americans on the national bone marrow registry.
“She’s from Jamaica, so we’re hoping that at the drive for Lola on Sunday, there will be people that come join from Jamaica, from other Caribbean countries, and people that are generally more diverse,” Linda Caltabiano, of the New York Blood Center, said.
The hope is that one of the drives will help them find a match.
“I love those kids with my heart; the parents know it,” Lola said. “Whatever you put in, you always get it back. May God bless her.”
For more information on the bone marrow drive, click here.