The family of a 20-year-old Glendale woman stricken with a rare form of leukemia is sponsoring a blood-testing drive today in hopes of finding a compatible bone-marrow donor.
Without a bone-marrow transplant, Glendale High School graduate Sarah Kappler has only about six months to live, family members said.
"She says she feels time closing in on her really fast," said Anne Kappler, 18, Sarah's sister. "She seems pretty stoic about it . . . but it's frightening to her."
The screening will be held from noon to 8 p.m. today in the auditorium of Glendale Adventist Medical Center, 1509 Wilson Terrace. People willing to donate blood for a bone-marrow test should call the hospital at (818) 409-8100 or Kathryn Kappler, Sarah's mother, at (818) 545-1828.
Sarah, who has been attending Valley College, two years ago was found to have chronic myelocytic leukemia, a rare disease that can be fatal soon after it is diagnosed, her mother said. The Kapplers immediately launched an international search for a bone-marrow donor so that Sarah could receive a transplant.
Volunteers are asked to donate a small amount of blood that will determine whether their bone marrow matches Sarah's. Their blood will also be entered in the National Bone Marrow Registry, which attempts to match donors to leukemia patients nationwide, Kathryn Kappler said.
Sarah's parents, who have paid for about 350 blood tests at $55 each, are accepting contributions to help defray the costs, they said.
Volunteers can also give blood for bone-marrow screening at the City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte, which offers the test free in exchange for a pint of blood. Appointments can be made by calling (818) 301-8483.