Successful Fundraiser for Bone Marrow Transplant Patient!

July 30, 2009

Melissa Delgado, 23, has been searching for a bone marrow donor match for six years. Due to the shortage of organ donors among the Hispanic population, she has been unable to find a match. After being diagnosed with leukemia in 2003, doctors told her a bone marrow transplant is her only hope for a second chance at life.

While waiting for a match to be found, Melissa is still battling this illness every day. The costs of medications, doctors’ visits, insurance co-pays and donor searches continue to soar. To help with the growing expenses, Maria DeFrancesco decided to find a way to help.

Maria, who only recently met Melissa, connected with Melissa through NFT. In May, Maria planned a cocktail dinner, including dancing, a raffle and entertainment, to raise money for Melissa’s fundraising campaign with NFT. Overall, this event raised more than $8,000 in honor of Melissa! We are so excited for Melissa, and we're thankful for her wonderful support system of volunteers.

This month, Maria and her boyfriend, Neal, held a benefit concert at Galapagos Art Space in Brooklyn. The concert, which featured a lineup of “buskers” (people who play music, dance or perform publicly, such as in the subways and parks of NYC), also benefited Opus 118 Harlem School of Music. Proceeds from a raffle featuring music-realted items benefited NFT in honor of Melissa.

Neal told NFT, “I was so inspired by the fundraiser that Maria put together, and by Melissa and her beautiful circle of family and friends that I decided to dedicate a part of this event to her as well.”

National Minority Donor Awareness day is coming up soon, and NFT wants to raise awareness about the vast shortage of minority organ and tissue donors in the United States. Learn more about the need for minority donors by visiting the National Minority Organ Tissue Transplant Education Program Web site.