Colin Flood, 6, who was diagnosed with leukemia in December, has captured the hearts and minds of the entire Queens community.
And that was no more evident than it was on Feb. 18, when hundreds of potential bone marrow donors came out in the hopes that one would be a match for Colin.
Held at Colin’s elementary school, Our Lady of Hope, the event saw donors start pouring in when doors opened at 8:40 a.m.
People who wanted to register had to be between the ages of 18-55 and in good health. One woman who was just a year above the cutoff age had to be turned away, much to her chagrin.
After filling out a form with their names and some personal information, donors were given a small bottle of water and asked to sip and swish in their mouth before swallowing. Donors then went to a table where they were given two cotton swabs and swabbed each one on each inside cheek.
Michelle Flood, Colin’s aunt, spearheaded the drive with DKMS, a nonprofit organization that registers donors in a database, after she learned about Colin’s condition.
“My family and I want to thank the community, everyone who is coming to get swabbed, the volunteers,” Flood said. “We just can’t thank you enough.”
James Kirkland, a DKMS spokesman, was amazed at the outpouring of the community.
“This is incredible,” he said. “It’s not even 10 o’clock and we have lines forming around all the tables.”
Kirkland added that the more people who sign up, the fewer lives will be lost to diseases such as or similar to Colin’s.
“The thing we cannot tell everyone in this nation is that there are thousands of patients searching for a bone marrow donor,” he said. “And they’re not finding them. They’re losing lives. We just need people to sign up.”
Christine Decker came out from Seaford, LI, to get registered. When she heard of Colin’s condition she was overcome with sadness, and wanted to help in any way possible. Decker, who is a friend of the Flood family, was elated that hundreds came out to get registered.
“This is what community is, this is what friendship is,” she said. “He’s got a whole group of support behind him.”
More than 50 volunteers were on hand to help the Flood family. They donned shirts with a storm trooper from “Star Wars” — one of Colin’s favorite films — on the front, and “Team Colin” printed on the back.
When family friend Joann Betz from North Massapequa, LI, heard about Colin’s condition, she immediately wanted to volunteer.
“I wanted to be here to give as much support as possible,” she said. Betz is optimistic that a match will be found for Colin.
“I’m trying to think positively,” she said. “I’m hoping and praying that someone will come through.”