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(PHOTOS) Community Responded In Force to Leukemia Bone Marrow DNA Drive Sunday

In honor of Jacy Franceschi, the Dixon Montessori Charter school gym was flooded with love Sunday, when 193-people took the simple Be The Match cheek swab DNA test, offering their bone marrow should they match someone in need.

Alisa Ramirez swabs her cheek, hoping to be a genetic match in order to donate bone marrow to her friend Jacy Franceschi
Alisa Ramirez swabs her cheek, hoping to be a genetic match in order to donate bone marrow to her friend Jacy Franceschi

The community of Dixon responded, in force, this past weekend, offering their saliva in hopes of saving a local leukemia patient.

In honor of Jacy Franceschi, the Dixon Montessori Charter school gym was flooded with love Sunday, when 193-people took the simple Be The Match cheek swab DNA test, offering their bone marrow should they match someone in need.

Franceschi, known to many Dixonites as a teacher and friend, was diagnosed suddenly with leukemia last month, spending three-weeks in the hospital under intense chemotherapy treatments. Her husband James, a Dixon fireman, has created a “Face of Leukemia” blog, branding her beautiful, now bald headshot, as one of the many faces that cancer has.

“Today the faces of Leukemia looked me in the eyes,” he wrote the day of the event, “Some cried, many smiled, almost every one of those faces hugged me. People I have never met, people who know people, who know my wife, people who know people, who know other people who know my wife. People.”

His blog continued… Today the faces of Leukemia were happy, excited, the way one is excited at an opportunity to win the lottery and in an offhanded way they did have that chance. Becoming a bone marrow match is truly (in my opinion) an honor. One bestowed upon a “hero”. Because that’s what you are once chosen. A Hero! You now have the ability to change someone’s fate. Helping save a life simply by donating something you have matching something they need to survive. If that isn’t heroic then I don’t know what is!

Today 193 people made it into Blood Sources registry, an elite club, praying they are chosen to receive that call! They may never get the call but like winning the lottery even though the chances are slim, you can’t win if you don’t play! And play they did… Tonight my heart tonight is overflowing with love.

In true Dixon style, the event was complete with a gigantic pouring of raffle prizes, the Pink Heals fire engine, a visit from Santa and dozens more supporters who weren’t age or health qualified to donate.

“Today I saw the true meaning of community. Today we may have saved someone’s life.  Today I felt love and compassion on a whole new scale. Today I came home humbled by it all. Today I thanked God for answering my prayers," Read James Franceschi’s full blog here.

Jacys treatment plan currently consists of several more week-long hospital stays for chemo treatments, as well as, a bone marrow transplant. A donation account is set up in her name at First Northern Bank for treatment and wage loss funds. 

Jamie Myers December 17, 2013 at 12:58 PM
So proud of the Dixon community coming together for something that really matters! It's also worth mentioning that many people beyond the 193 volunteered, bought raffle tickets and rallied to show their support who were unable to meet the qualifications for a swab.
Lindsey Hickman (Editor) December 17, 2013 at 01:19 PM
Yes definitely Jamie, that is what I meant by: In true Dixon style, the event was complete with a gigantic pouring of raffle prizes, the Pink Heals fire engine, a visit from Santa and dozens more supporters who weren’t age or health qualified to donate. The turnout was nothing less than I would expect from this community, it is heartwarming to say the least!!

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