Swab clinic for 7-year-old girl draws ‘great’ turnout

In Chatham, a swab clinic for a 7-year-old girl in need of a stem cell transplant drew a huge crowd on Monday afternoon.

More than 20 students and residents attended a clinic at St. Clair College for Zoe Dudzianiec, who lives in Tecumseh.

She has a rare disease called Diamond-Blackfan anemia, a very rare disease of the bone marrow that has no cure.

Dudzianiec has been in therapy since birth and receives about 10 hours of therapy a day.

She also received blood transfusions every 10 days at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto because the blood she needed was no longer available in Windsor.

“We had a great event and there was a lot of interest,” said Maelba Bedard, director of the Caitlin Bedard Bone Marrow Society. “We only had a collection of 20 or so swabs, but that’s ok. Just one to match the Zoe we’re trying to find.”

According to Bedard, the process of identifying a match can take up to six weeks. However, the association would not find out if it was found.

All information is confidential, Bedard said, and the only way they’ll find a match is if they notify them in person.

“These go into global registers,” Bedard said. “So one of those registrants could be a donor from someone in Germany or the Middle East. Anywhere in the world, even the US.”

The next upcoming swab clinic at Chatham St. Clair College is expected sometime in the fall.

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