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article imageToronto officer Tony Coscarella with leukemia looking for donors Special

By KJ Mullins     Aug 3, 2011 in Health
Toronto - Tony Coscarella has been a police officer for the past 20 years. He has spent his life helping the residents of Toronto every day but now he needs help from the community.
Last fall Coscarella was hit by what he and his family thought was the flu. The father of three was taken to hospital by his wife Michelle in November when he didn't get better. After blood work came back during the emergency room visit doctors knew that the flu wasn't the problem. More tests were needed. Coscarella went to Princess Margaret Hospital for more blood work. The answer came back. Acute Myeloid Leukemia ( AML).
Tony Coscarella
Tony Coscarella
Join Tony's Fight
After several rounds of chemotherapy treatments in hospital Coscarella needs a bone marrow donor. There is no one in his family that matches him. Along with ONEMATCH.ca a campaign is ongoing to find the one match that will save Tony's life. The most suitable donor is Southern Italian. While in blood donation the main factor is blood typing it's more complex with stem blood cell transplants. Blood marrow donations require that certain tissue types be the same, those tissue types are generally shared by people with the same heritage background.
By going to the website Canadians can get a donor kit sent to you. There are also swabbing events being staged in Ontario for Tony.
The effort hopefully will help Tony and the 894 others in Canada facing bone marrow transplants who still need a donor.
Potential donors must be between 17 and 50 years of age. If you are a match, OneMatch will contact you for further testing. You will remain on the network until your 60th birthday and hopefully you'll be the one match to save a life.
Donating peripheral blood stem cells is painless. It is done in outpatient clinic with a needle in a vein just like giving blood.
Bone marrow donation is done under general anaesthetic. There is little pain, much like having a fall on the ice. A needle extracts the stem cells from the iliac crest.
Helping in the fight against Tony's cancer and others facing the disease in Canada is something the Toronto Police Service is dedicated to.
Constable Tony Vella faces the shears
Constable Tony Vella faces the shears
permission from Constable Tony Vella
Constable Tony Vella said during a phone interview that Tony Coscarella is a very decent man who is devoted to his work.
"We are doing anything possible to get a donor, not just for Tony but for all the others who need a donor in Canada."
Vella has been part of the Cops Against Cancer program for a while now. This spring he was one of the officers whose head was shaved for the Cops for Cancer fundraising drive raising $45,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society.
"When someone needs help you have to step up to the plate and pitch in to do your part. It doesn't matter if it's a friend or co-worker like Tony or a complete stranger," Vella said adding that the Toronto Police "help each other and our community."
More about Cops Against Cancer, Tony Coscarella, Leukemia, Bone marrow transplant, Donors
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