SOMERS, N.Y. -- Tara Lockwood, a senior at Somers High School in Lincolndale, is nearing completion of her Gold Award project for the Girl Scouts to create awareness for bone marrow transplants.
Lockwood's goal is to spread awareness about bone marrow transplants and being a donor. Registering for the bone marrow transplant is much easier and non-invasive than people realize.
The procedure for registering is a swab of the cheek. Lockwood believes increasing awareness can help leukemia patients extend their lives. More information about how to register is also on a Facebook page created by Lockwood.
She will set up a "Be The Match’" registry booth at Relay for Life in Somers on Saturday, May 30, at the Somers Middle School from 6 to 10 p.m.
Donors must be between the ages of 18-44. At the Relay for Life, everyone who joins the registry, will automatically have their names entered in for a drawing to win an Apple TV. There will also be a 50/50 raffle to raise funds for the registry. It costs approximately $100 per person to add a name to the registry.
Lockwood's interest in spreading awareness stems from deaths of several people close to her. Lockwood wrote in describing her project: "At age 11, I lost my Girl Scout troop leader Lynn Adams to cancer. The girls in my troop and I felt powerless because there was nothing we could do to help her.
"A year later, I attended Eeva Crannell’s funeral, who died at age 16 from cancer. About three years later, I attended the funeral of Monique Williams, who died at age 15. Both Eeva and Monique were diagnosed very young and suffered from leukemia.
"They were lucky enough to be bone marrow recipients and were given the gift of time to live healthier lives, celebrate birthdays and holidays with their friends and family. Finding a match is very difficult. The more people who register as donors, the greater chance there is of finding one."
Lockwood, who was born and raised in Somers, has been a longtime Girl Scout and has been active in other community projects.
"After the loss of our leader, our co-leader Lauren Zaccaria said we should continue Girl Scouting in Lynn’s honor, so we used our troops funds to place a bench in her name at the Somers library in her memory and commemorating her volunteerism,'' Lockwood wrote. "My troop has been like a family to me and we’ve been through a lot together.
"Family is important to me and that’s why I want to do what I can to prevent families all over the world from losing a precious member before their time to cancer."
Lockwood is an Ambasador Girl Scout in Troop 2633. She is a member of the National Honor Society and enjoys participating in the midnight run as a bilingual translator.
She is also vice president of the Leos Club, a chapter of the Lions Club in Somers, and organizes several local fundraisers a year for the community.
As a dancer and actor she performs annually in the high school drama and musical. Her true passion is in teaching and she hopes to pursue a career in early childhood development.
For more information on bone marrow transplants and how you can help, visit bethematch.org
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