Rihanna, 50 Cent seek bone marrow help for infant
From NBC New York
Rihanna, 50 Cent and Leighton Meester have come to the aid of an Upper West Side baby in need of a bone marrow transplant, the New York Daily News reported Friday.
All three have had their cheeks swabbed to see if they’re a match for 1-year-old Ayelet Galena, who suffers from a rare bone marrow syndrome called dyskeratosis congenita.
The celebrities hope that their fans will follow suit and get tested for Galena’s benefit.
Katharina Harf, co-founder of DMKS Americas, a German bone-marrow donor center, told the News that the effort began online.
“It started out with Rihanna tweeting, and then I asked 50 Cent, he has helped us before,” said Harf. “And then [Ayelet’s] dad got all these other artists and bands aboard.”
Seth Galena, Ayelet’s father, is an account supervisor at VLM advertising, and got rapper Pharrell and rock band Linkin Park involved in the effort last month.
“We went into action once we got the diagnosis because we knew she’d need the transplant,” Ayelet’s mother, Hindy Poupko, told the News.
Without a bone marrow donor, Ayelet won’t survive.
Four out of 10 people rely on donors who are strangers, since relatives are rarely a match for bone marrow, according to DKMS.
Siblings are the best possibility, with a 25 percent matching rate, but Ayelet is an only child.
If the young girl receives the transplant, she has a 60 percent chance of survival.
The family and DKMS have organized a donor-registration drive for Sunday. It will take place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., at the Jewish Community Center at 334 Amsterdam Ave.
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