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Veteran FDNY Firefighter Is In Serious Need Of A Marrow Donor

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NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — A man who has spent his career saving lives is need of a hero of his own.

FDNY veterans are heroes in many ways, but now they are looking for an unsuspecting hero to save the life of one of their own, CBS 2’s Emily Smith reported.

Jimmy Martinez needs a bone marrow match, fast.

“His match could come from China, the Midwest, we don’t know. It is not written in stone that it’s another Hispanic, but he has a better chance if it is,” his son Jimmy Junior, explained.

The firefighter’s daughters met with strangers who stopped in for a simple cheek swab at Our Lady of Peace in New Dorp. If a person is a match they could serve as potential donors, and a transplant may be a possibility.

“It’s been described as a bump on ice. as if you fell and have a bruise for a few days. It’s not as invasive as it sounds, and you’re saving a life,” Eileen Martinez said.

Martinez is a 24-year veteran of the FDNY. He was with Engine 157 at ground zero during the September 11, attacks, and spent months working rescue and recovery after losing 6 of colleagues.

In 2013, Martinez was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. He has gone through five rounds of chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant.

“We need an outside donor to put a stamp of longevity on his remission,” Jimmy Junior explained.

Sunday, marked two milestones for the Martinez family. It was Eileen’s birthday, which marked a year to the day since learning about her father’s diagnosis.

Martinez is currently resting with other family members in Puerto Rico, but he said ‘thank you’ to any potential donors.

Potential donors who undergo the cheek swab test and are not a match could still end up being a match for someone else.

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