It’s as simple as having a cotton swab touching against the inside of a cheek.
The lives of two family men – a cop and a city mechanic – could be saved in the search for a bone marrow match on Wednesday in the Manteca City Council chambers.
Manteca Police officer Steven Dowswell and City of Manteca mechanic Randy Karim are the focus of the marrow registry drive to be held between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. Both are suffering from the effects of leukemia and are reportedly in a fight for their lives.
Each has worked for the city for some 10 years . Doctors have recommended bone marrow transplants as their hope for a possible cure.
Thirty percent of patients in need of transplants find marrow matches within their families, but Dowswell and Karim are part of the 70 percent without family matches who hope to find a donor from the “Be the Match” marrow registry.
Dowswell and Karim are described as being devoted fathers and husbands. Dowswell has four children and Karim two.
The BloodSource organization is hosting the drive and has been a not-for-profit group since 1948 currently encouraging community members to learn about becoming potential bone marrow and/or blood stem cell donors by attending the drive or by contacting Blood Source.
“It is a very special way of saving lives for patients like Mr. Dowswell, Mr. Karim or thousands of others facing the critical need of matched donors to survive on of the many diseases for which marrow transplants are potentially curative,” said BloodSource spokeswoman Liz Ustick.
Potential donors can find more information about the registration process and marrow registry by calling 866-822-5663 or by visiting www.bloodsource.org/donate.