Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Family Holds Bone Marrow Donor Registry Event to Raise Awareness

MAYWOOD, Ill. – A year ago the Wielgos family was distraught when their daughter Sarah, 19, was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of leukemia. She began treatment at the Ronald McDonald® Children’s Hospital at Loyola University Medical Center.

“She needed a bone marrow transplant so she was transferred to the adult transplant floor. We were fortunate that her sister, Mary, matched and was able to be her donor,” said her mom, Suzanne Wielgos.

Six months later Sarah is home and doing well. Still, after many months in the hospital the Wielgoses know not all families get the same joyful outcome. To say “thank you” to the Loyola care team and to honor those who did not find a donor, the family is sponsoring a bone marrow registry donor drive at Plainfield Central High School, where their children are students.

“Although we were blessed to discover that Mary could be Sarah’s donor, we met many patients at Loyola who are not so fortunate and must turn to the international bone marrow registry in hopes of finding a match.  We are so thankful for the support we received from the Plainfield community during Sarah’s cancer journey, so we wanted to give back by registering as many people as we can—and, hopefully, save lives,” Suzanne Wielgos said.

The drive will be held at 1 p.m. , Saturday, Oct. 5, during the Homecoming football game. The Be the Match organization is providing 100 swab kits to collect cheek cell samples to determine if the potential donor will match a patient in need.

For more information on the event or becoming a donor, please contact Danielle Vickers at

Media: Please contact Evie Polsley at or call (708) 216-5313 or (708) 417-5100 for more information.

About Loyola University Health System

Loyola University Health System (LUHS) is a member of Trinity Health. Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, LUHS is a quaternary care system that includes Loyola University Medical Center (LUMC), located on a 61-acre campus in Maywood, Gottlieb Memorial Hospital (GMH), on a 36-acre campus in Melrose Park, and convenient locations offering primary and specialty care services throughout Cook, Will and DuPage counties. At the heart of LUMC is a 547-licensed-bed hospital that houses the Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine, the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, a Level 1 trauma center, a burn center, a children's hospital, Loyola Outpatient Center, and Loyola Oral Health Center. The campus also is home to Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. The GMH campus includes a 254-licensed-bed community hospital, a Professional Office Building with 150 private practice clinics, an adult day care program, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, the Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park.

Trinity Health is one of the largest multi-institutional Catholic health care delivery systems in the nation. It serves people and communities in 22 states from coast to coast with 93 hospitals, and 120 continuing care locations — including home care, hospice, PACE and senior living facilities — that provide nearly 2.5 million visits annually.