NJ teacher needs bone marrow donor, community rallies to find a match

MULLICA HILL, N.J. -- Kris Lamelas always loved to give back, especially through blood drives at West Deptford High School, where she is a teacher.

The last time she tried to donate blood, she was denied. She was urged to see a doctor, who then diagnosed her with an aggressive blood cancer known as Myelodysplastic syndrome, or MDS.

This news came only a short few weeks after her father passed away. Kris had donated her kidney to her father in 2011.

After the diagnosis, the 47-year-old was immediately removed from the classroom and now must avoid large crowds of people due to her immune system.

For this reason, she was unable to attend the swabbing event held in her honor this morning. Her sister, Kathy Thistlewood, partnered with Clearview High School's Hoagies 4 Hope event. Anyone who came to pick up sandwiches for the Super Bowl was invited to add their name to the DKMS registry of donors available to help patients like Kris. Clearview's Latin Club volunteered to help with cheek swabbing.

To learn more about their mission to "delete blood cancer" or to register yourself, visit the DKMS website.

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