Student will spend Spring Break giving bone marrow

Marlene Brueggemann

While some of her fellow students will lay on a beach enjoying their spring break, Kelly Renee Ogles will face a surgical procedure involving a large needle.

Ogles, a Scottsville sophomore, will donate some of her bone marrow later this month as a last hope for someone with acute leukemia.

Ogles was one of about 3,300 people who participated in a bone marrow drive on Sept. 30 held for Bowling Green resident Philip Schardein and Bowling Green native Naomi Sinclair.

Ogles said her roommate told her about the blood drive.

“I immediately knew that I had to go; I just had this gut feeling,” Ogles said. “Now I know why.”

Her information was put in the National Bone Marrow registry. In January, Graves Gilbert Clinic contacted Ogles, telling her she was a possible match for someone.

“Last week, they called me and told me that everything matched up,” Ogles said.

Lisa Leachman, Schardein’s mother, said 23 others besides Ogles have been identified as potential donors and have gotten blood work done.

“It is phenomenal,” Leachman said.

But none of the donations will go to Schardein. After the drive last year and just before getting him ready to go back into chemotherapy, he started showing signs of improvement, Leachman said.

Cells previously donated by his sister became active again and Schardein then received a second donation from his sibling.

Leachman and Schardein have been in Houston since June of last year, where Schardein has been receiving treatment at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

Yesterday, doctors told Leachman that her son could be released. Both are flying back to Bowling Green this afternoon.

Leachman said she is exited about the outcome of the bone marrow drive and hopes it showed the need for donors.

“What Kelly is doing is huge,” Leachman said. “That person who she is doing this for – it is their only way/hope for a cure; there is no other treatment that would help.”

There are two options for donation. One is a donation of bone marrow, the other is a donation of stem cells.

Ogles said she expected to have to donate stem cells, but was told that her recipient can accept either one, so she decided to do a bone marrow transplant, which will be just one surgery.

“I’m a little nervous,” Ogles said. “I have the chance to save somebody’s life, so I think it is worth it.”

Trisha Shaw, the telerecruiting manager for the Central Kentucky Blood Center, said bone marrow donors usually receive a general or regional anesthetic.

The marrow will be extracted with a needle from the back of the patient’s pelvic bone, she said.

Shaw said the patient’s bone marrow naturally regenerates within a couple of weeks.

Besides Ogles, two other individuals have been identified as matches. Bowling Green resident Troy Warren donated stem cells last week. Another Western student, who wants to remain unnamed, will donate in April.

Reach Marlene Brueggemann at [email protected]