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Community drive next week for bone marrow matches
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Manteca city workers are expected to flock to the Manteca City Council chambers today to have their cheeks swabbed in search for bone marrow that would be a match in attempting to save the lives of two city workers suffering from cancer.

Manteca police officer Stephen Dowswell and city vehicle maintenance staffer Randy Karim will be the focus of today’s event and a similar community-wide search for matching marrow on Wednesday, Dec. 14, from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. also at the council chambers.

Dowswell and his wife Linda are expected to attend the drive today, but he must be cautious in not being around anyone with a virus due to his lowered resistance level.

Officer Dowswell became sick first with flu-like symptoms the end of June that were soon diagnosed as leukemia. Karim was also diagnosed earlier this year with acute Myelodysplastic System Leukemia.

Dowswell and his wife Linda – an RN at Doctors Medical Center in Modesto – have four children ages nine to 19.  Karim has two children.  Both have been employed by the city for some 10 years.

BloodSource, a non-profit established in 1948, is hosting the two registry drives in Manteca.  Another is being held at Doctors Medical Center in Modesto on December 16 along with a marrow search event in Santa Helena.

An account has been established in Stephen Dowswell’s name with the Wells Fargo Bank to help with medical expenses.  The family is hoping for a transplant by the middle of January, according to his wife Linda.

Dowswell will be hospitalized for four to six weeks, and after his release he will have to live within 30 minutes of the University of San Francisco Hospital for a minimum of 100 days.