Local Family Launches Global Campaign To Find Bone Marrow Donor For Their 4-Year-Old Son

Photo courtesy of Be a Match for Devan

As the daughter of a heart transplant recipient, I find it absolutely necessary to inform the general public about how important organ and tissue transplantation is in our community and to our families. Had my father not received a heart in 1999, he would have missed out on an entire decade of our family’s life and my own would have changed forever. Thanks to the generosity of strangers, my father received a heart and was there to raise my sister and I. He even got to move us both into college.

Now, a Washington family is running the risk of losing their 4-year-old son to acute promyelocytic leukemia if they do not find a bone marrow donor in the next 11 weeks.

Devan Tatlow’s chances of finding a match are one in 200,000, according to WTOP, because he is a mixed race child. His father is European and his mother is a combination of Polish and south Indian heritage.

His parents have launched a global Internet campaign to find a donor to save their sons life, allowing him to live beyond the age of 4. Bone marrow donation drives are being held worldwide in an attempt to save young Devan’s life, but there are also a few drives in the coming days right here in our area.

If you are interested in visiting the drive sites and donating, you are not alone. More than 100 people attended the Turtle Park drive over the weekend to have their cheeks swabbed and checked to see if they were a match.

“This is a campaign that will hopefully benefit him but will certainly benefit many, many thousands of people beyond him,” Devan’s mother Indira Lakshmanan told WTOP.

For more information on how you can help Devan, click the page jump.

  • May 22 – Winston Churchill High School ( in the cafeteria)11300 Gainsborough Rd Potomac, MD 2085 from 1-3 p.m.
  • May 25 – St. Columba’s Church at 201 Albemarle Street, NW from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • June 12 – Michigan Park, across from The HSC Pediatric Center (1731 Bunker Hill Road, NE, Washington, DC 20017) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • June 27 – Landon School 6101 Wilson Lane Bethesda, MD 20817 (parking next door at Pyle Middle School, 6311 Wilson Lane or in adjacent neighborhood)from 8 -11 a.m.

Click here for more drives.

Rachel moved to DC in the fall of 2005 to study Journalism and Music at American University. When she’s not keeping up with the latest Major League Baseball news, she works on making music as an accomplished singer-songwriter and was even a featured performer/speaker at TEDxDupont Circle in 2012. Rachel has also contributed to The Washington Examiner and MASN Sports’ Nationals Buzz as a guest blogger. See why she loves DC. E-Mail: rachel@welovedc.com.

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3 thoughts on “Local Family Launches Global Campaign To Find Bone Marrow Donor For Their 4-Year-Old Son

  1. If you are found to be a match, there are two ways to donate. The donation method is determined by the patient’s doctor.

    1. Peripheral Blood Stem Cell (PBSC)Collection:
    Cells are collected via the bloodstream. On the day of collection the donor’s blood is then removed from one arm and passed through a machine that separates out the blood stem cells. The remaining blood is returned to the donor through the other arm.

    2. Bone Marrow Extraction:
    Marrow cells are collected from the backside of the pelvic bone using a special syringe. (The donor is sedated so they feel no discomfort). This is a 1-2 hour, outpatient, surgical procedure. The donor is discharged from the hospital at the end of the day.