Middle Village and the surrounding communities last Saturday answered a call to help an area girl stricken with leukemia as hundreds turned out for a blood and bone-marrow donor registration drive hosted by Christ the King Regional High School on Metropolitan Avenue.
The event, which benefited Friends of Karen, a charity which provides emotional, financial and advocacy support for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families, netted 200 pints for the New York Blood Center and 54 registrants. It was organized in honor of 14-year-old Carly Rose Nieves, a Middle Village resident who suffers from acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a cancer of the white blood cells.
“It was non-stop all day long,” Carly’s mom, Lisa Horner, said of the attendance. “It was amazing to see so many selfless individuals — family, friends, childhood friends, neighbors, strangers — come together to help.”
The drive also featured a bake sale, raffles for prizes donated by area businesses and families and appearances by bold-faced names such as former heavyweight boxing champ Leon Spinks.
Christ the King President Michael Michel, who was first in line to donate blood, thanked all who participated in the successful event.
“It has been many years since we as a community have gotten together to donate the ‘gift of life,’” Michel said in a prepared statement. “Not only will Carly benefit from these donations but many others will also in her name.”
Carly, who is in remission after a undergoing months of high-dose chemotherapy, told the Chronicle last week that drives such as the one last Saturday make her “feel hopeful.”
“I’m very grateful for people who would donate their time and give blood,” she related. “It’s a generous thing to do that saves lives.”
Horner reported that people of all ages — “from 16 to the 70s” — stood in a long line to give and register, even some who had never before donated.
“I just can’t thank everybody enough for what they did,” she said.