These should be the best of times for Lauren Matta of Little Egg Harbor. She is a vibrant and pretty 17-year old at Pinelands Regional High School who should be thinking about things like her Senior Prom, graduation and college. She probably is but they all take a back seat to her top priority….getting a bone marrow transplant which appears to be her best chance at defeating leukemia.

Just last June Lauren was a typical teenager who loved to sing and spend time with her friends and family. Out of nowhere she began to notice bad bruises and a subsequent blood test revealed a horrible diagnosis…Acute Myeloid Leukemia.

Lauren went through six rough months of chemotherapy but unfortunately just a month after treatments ended she experienced a relapse in December. Now the focus has turned to a bone marrow transplant and the hope she can find a matching donor.

With that in mind friends and family have organized a Bone Marrow Donor Drive for this Saturday (February 11) from 10am-4pm at the American Legion on Radio Road in Little Egg Harbor. If you are between the ages of 18-55 and generally speaking in good health you have a chance to save Lauren’s life or that of one of the thousands of others who are hoping and praying to find a donor match. The process is easy and requires just a simple cheek swab but by doing so you are making a commitment to help save a life which is the greatest gift one can give.

Just try and imagine what it’s like for Chris and Tracy Matta to watch what their daughter is going through. Even more inconceivable is to be in the shoes of Lauren who despite everything remains focused on getting the transplant she needs and in June walking with her classmates at graduation. Now that would be a great story.

For more on being a donor visit getswabbed.org.