You guys know Kerry Gilbert right?
We all know him as a real nice guy, who is popular with the ladies (see above), and a good shoe behind the wheel of a sprint car. Well going back to the nice guy part, Kerry has a co-worker, Todd Medrano, who has an eight year old daughter who was diagnosed with Leukemia about two months ago. Now if you know anything about leukemia, bone marrow matching is a big deal. As a former Red Cross employee that used to put on blood and marrow drives for a living, bone marrow drives are a really, really big deal because sometimes finding a match can be a tough road to go down. To that end, a benefit is being held this Saturday evening at Quaker Steak and Lube on 49th St. in Clearwater and “The Ladies Choice” Kerry Gilbert will be on hand with his #55 sprint car.
The festivities are scheduled to go down from 5:00 – 9:00 pm and as someone that used to run these (I was a Territory Manager, think of it as a sales jobs where you have to make sure your territory brings in xx amount of blood every month to keep the local hospitals stocked) I can tell you that events like this are a lot of fun and you are doing a lot of good. Giving blood is easy (eat a cheeseburger before hand to boost your iron) and relatively painless and getting the bone marrow process started is even easier.
With a simple swab of the cheek, a bit of your DNA is collected. Then your DNA is used to figure out your HLA typing; your unique markers that can match you with patients in need of a life-saving marrow transplant. That’s it. Then you go into the registry and if you’re a match, boom, you’re a hero to a little girl and her parents.
Kerry’s co-worker’s daughter was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia on June 7th 2012. She is currently living at All Children’s Hospital with her mom, Gina, who hasn‘t left her side since. Jessie is currently undergoing chemotherapy and will require a Bone Marrow Transplant shortly after her third cycle.
Now I ask you, is it not worth taking some time out of your day on Saturday and getting your cheek swabbed to try and help this little girl out?
On top of it, there will be contests for the biker community (Gene Lasker, Mike Partin, we’re looking at you…) as well as the Hot Rod folks and even people who just stop by for the event. Prizes for all contests during the event range from a gift certificate for a free motorcycle service to certificates for a free tattoo and two pair of tickets for the upcoming Rays vs. Blue Jays game August 9th. We will also have a raffle for a chance to win a new scooter(on display @ venue), flat panel T.V., and gift baskets. Average value for baskets is $50.00 and up. Raffle tickets are selling for $5.00 and are available now at Quaker Steak and Lube (ask your server) and Tropical Scooters located at 11601 Seminole Blvd, Largo, Fl. Ph#727-397-6400. Stop in and see Michelle. Raffle winner need not be present during event to win. 5% of food and beverage sales (with a flyer) will benefit the “JESSICA T. MEDRANO BENEFIT TRUST” so visit Jessie’s tent during the event for a copy of her flyer and raffle ticket sales.
Or maybe you too would like to bring out your sprint car and help drum up some interest? Drop us a line and we’ll put you in touch with Mr. Gilbert up there.
Do it – it’s the right thing to do. And bring your friends too.
And post this to your Facebook and Twitter and help us get the word out.