• WHAT: Bone marrow donor drive for two city workers
• WHERE: Manteca Civic Center council chambers, 1001 W. Center St.
• WHEN: Wednesday, Dec. 14, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
• ENTAILS: About 15 minutes including having a cotton swab of your cheek, donors must fall in the prescribed age limits of 18 to 60 years old.
• MORE INFO: Go to www.BeTheMatch.org or www.BloodSource.com.
Brotherly love – it’s the best.
Manteca Police Officer Stephen Dowswell and city vehicle maintenance worker Randy Karim are fighting for their lives against the onslaught of deadly leukemia.
While Karim was not able to be present for Wednesday’s drive to find a bone marrow match from some 100 city employees, an obviously weakened Dowswell sat in the front row with his wife Linda. I was humbled when he labored to get up from his seat and walked slowly toward me – giving me a warm hug – thanking me for putting his story in the paper to encourage donors.
As off-duty police officers and others walked in the door, his message to them was just as clear, each receiving the same genuine thanks, albeit with a slight voice. Patrolman Shawn Cavin didn’t hesitate a second when Dowswell got to his feet to greet him, unloading a bear hug of his own on his fellow officer.
City staffers from every department made their way into the council chambers throughout the day to offer their help to the two men hoping their swab proved to be a match with their bone marrow – the least but the best they had to offer to make a difference.
While the caring was evident in the hearts of so many that left their jobs for the 15 minutes it took to draw a sample, it was obvious they knew they had to try to offer what could be a link in the solution for the two family men.
The council chambers was as quiet and as serene as a hospital setting with everyone seeming to realize that an important life-saving mission was underway and what their presence was all about and could make a difference.
That hug I received from the tenured patrolman of 10 years was more than humbling. It was one of those special moments in time that will be long remembered. Meeting Steve’s wife Linda and Gloriana – one of their four children – was equally resounding.
They are so very appreciative of all the support they are seeing from the community at city hall who obviously feel their pain and are joining with their prayers to make this disease go away with the needed bone marrow.
Next Wednesday, Dec. 14, the doors of the city council chambers will open up to the entire Manteca community in a continuation of the search for the needed bone marrow match. It is the hope of everyone close to the two men that Mantecans respond to the call that could save a life by giving just 15 minutes of their time.
For those wanting more information on donating marrow go to www.BeTheMatch.org or www.BloodSource.com. Donors must fall in the prescribed age limits of 18 to 60 years old.