San Mateo, Come to The Highlands Rec Center on Friday or Saturday and Save A Life.

STOPSan Mateo, STOP what you have planned this coming weekend because we need your help to save a life.  It’s simple, only takes a few minutes, and if you are the lucky one to be a match, you will know you have saved the life of  someone in the US through a bone marrow transplant. Your data will go into a National Register and could save a life of someone locally or across the country.

What: “Just4Julie” Marrow Donor Drive

When: April 24th and 25th, 9am – 2pm

Where: Highlands Recreation Center , 1851 Lexington Ave , San Mateo

Here’s the scoop…

Highlands Elementary School PTA Co-President, Julie Friedman, is in need of a bone marrow transplant and perhaps you can help her and her family.  If you’re not a match for her, you may help another family member somewhere else.

Late last fall, Julie was given some shocking news. In a routine blood check, it was discovered that she had astronomically high white blood cell counts. She was rushed to Stanford and diagnosed immediately with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). Julie never had a symptom. She was kept at Stanford for a full month until the cancer was eradicated. In January, the leukemia returned and she had to repeat the month-long stay at Stanford.

The next step for Julie is a bone marrow transplant. It must happen. However, during Julie’s battle with AML, she’s learned that she is a special person in a few too many ways! Julie has chromosomal abnormalities in her bone marrow and blood cells. This creates a two-fold problem for Julie: 1) It means she needs the transplant all the more in order to beat this leukemia, and 2) It means it is very, very challenging to find a match.

Julie has faced this “out of the blue” health crisis with dignity, strength and confidence. She has remained optimistic and has taught those of us around her the true power of positive thinking. She has been an inspiration to everyone even remotely involved in her plight.

Julie is a single mother of two boys – a kindergartener and third grader at Highlands Elementary. With help from family, Julie has kept life happy and normal for the boys. She is still in the classroom when she can be, still going to soccer practice, and finding lots of ways to “just be” with her boys.

But now Julie needs the help and support of our entire community. We are holding a Marrow Donor Drive at the Highlands Rec Center at 1851 Lexington Ave in San Mateo , from 9am-2pm on Friday, April 24th and Saturday, April 25th. The drive is open to anyone and everyone. PLEASE JOIN US! (Please Note: The Highlands Eichler Home Tour will be taking place during these same times, but is a separate event.)

Just so you know, a Marrow Donor Drive is a quick and easy process. It is a simple cheek swab with a Q-Tip – that’s all!! That swab puts you into the National Donor Registry so that you could possibly save a life. In the past, people have hesitated to register for bone marrow transplants because the actual transplant process was not entirely pleasant. These days, it can be as simple as a blood draw from the donor. So saving someone’s life couldn’t be easier.

PLEASE help us to help Julie on her path to recovery. Spread the word; bring family and friends to participate in this critical, life-saving drive. There is a significant cost to holding this drive, and we thank Alex Vaysberg and All Industrial Electric Supply for their $2,000 donation. If you would like to help support our efforts by making a donation, please contact Elyse Vaysberg at elysevaysberg at or 218-2064, or you may also make a donation at the drive on Friday or Saturday. If you would like to volunteer at the drive, or have other questions, please contact Karen Li at karen at or 375-1809.

Together we can help this fantastic Highlands mom on her path to a bright and healthy future.

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