Family registers over 100 people to be bone marrow donors at the Craven Country Jamboree
Posted by Craven Country Jamboree on 08/02/2016
Lincoln Honoway is a vibrant three-year-old. He’s happy, loves playing with his cousins, and doesn’t even mind the hospital.
“He’s an awesome kid, he looks forward to those hospital visits, which I never can figure out,” said his mom, Erica Honoway.
In February, her always-healthy little boy started looking pale, with dark circles under his eyes and mysterious bruises.
Doctors thought Lincoln might have leukemia. In March, he was diagnosed with aplastic anemia.
It’s a rare disorder — about two in a million people have it — and in Lincoln’s case, it could be fatal.
“His bone marrow has shut down,” said Honoway. “He doesn’t produce basically any red cells, white cells or platelets on his own.”
Blood transfusions are keeping him going for now, but he needs a bone marrow transplant to survive — it’ll reset his system. He has an appointment scheduled for Aug. 22 at the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary, as long as his backup donor doesn’t cancel as the primary donor did.
An anonymous donor could save little Lincoln’s life. And that’s why the Honoways — Erica, husband Ryan, and the rest of their family — want to help grow the OneMatch donor registry.
“The more people you have on these registries, the better chance you have of finding a match. It can be one in a million to try to find someone,” said Honoway.
“There are only a few people in the world that seem to match each of us, so the more of us that we can get on the registry, the better our chances of finding bone marrow donors for the people who are in need.”
Bone marrow donors have to fit the age range of 17 to 35. So when the Craven Country Jamboree rolled around, sister-in-law Haley Ryan worked with Canadian Blood Services to set up a donor registration booth; 100 people signed up.
“I call them angels,” said Honoway. “These people that are willing to save someone else’s life is pretty special. I always think of what it would feel like to get that phone call that you are the one chosen to save somebody’s life. It would be amazing.”
Since Lincoln got sick, Honoway has encouraged her friends and family to donate blood.
“You think it’ll never be you who’s going to need it and I would have said the same thing. I had four perfectly healthy kids a few months ago and would have never dreamt I’d be needing this,” said Honoway.
“Someone else’s blood and someone else’s platelets saved his life. I can’t help but want to do that for someone else.”
To learn more about OneMatch, visit blood.ca.