The Knights of Columbus and New Jersey Blood Services are hosting a blood and marrow drive in honor of Township of Washington’s own Grace Skuches. The blood drive will be held Thursday, July 14, from 2-8 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus Hall located at 79 Pascack Road. You can make an appointment at tinyurl.com/Giving4Gracie, or just walk in! Please bring an ID and eat before donating. Snacks will be provided after you donate. Be The Match will also be there registering for the National Bone Marrow Registry.
Grace’s story began when she was six months old and diagnosed with ATRT (Atypical Teratoid/Rhabdiod Tumor), an extremely rare, very difficult to treat pediatric brain tumor. Over the past year, Grace has endured five rounds of high dose chemotherapy, one stem cell harvest, and three stem cell rescues.
In December 2015, it was determined that Grace had no evidence of disease. Unfortunately, in the first week of January 2016, Grace had facial paralysis that ultimately was determined to be caused by a new tumor. She started Proton-Beam Radiation Therapy and is currently receiving daily maintenance chemotherapy. Grace has endured other setbacks such as a subdural hematoma, shunt revision, and numerous infections
During Grace’s multiple surgeries and chemotherapies, she has received 15 blood transfusions, and 18 platelet transfusions. She is currently 18 months old and is being treated at the Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital of New York – Columbia Presbyterian. Her family is very hopeful of a positive outcome.
If you would like to read further about Grace and her battle with brain cancer, you can visit her website at YouCaring.com/GraceSkuches.
Also, please consider donating a new art supply at the drive to be given to the Alfano Family Arts in Medicine Studio, which is located at the Pediatric Hematology, Oncology, and Stem Cell Transplantation clinic at Columbia Presbyterian. This program uses art as therapy for children and siblings battling cancer and blood disorders.
Applications for membership in the Knights of Columbus are welcome from qualified individuals. For more information, call 201-664-0422, or go to our website, www.kofc5427.com.