08/12/05

JVC Jazz-Newport to Help Michael Brecker

As we previously reported (Michael Brecker in Need of Stem Cell Transplant), saxophonist Michael Brecker has been diagnosed with MDS (myelodysplastic syndrome) and it is critical that he receive a stem cell transplant. The initial search for a donor has been unsuccessful and he and his family are asking the general public to consider donating bone marrow.

As a result of his illness, his appearance at the JVC Jazz Festival-Newport this upcoming weekend (Aug. 12-14) with Saxophone Summit and Steps Ahead 2005 has been cancelled. To assist Brecker in finding a matching donor, Festival Productions, coordinator of JVC Jazz Festivals, has decided to set up a special tent at the Newport festival where potential donors can join the National Marrow Donor Program, organized by the Rhode Island Blood Center. The tent will be located next to the Museum of Yachting at Fort Adams State Park in Newport and will be open on both Saturday and Sunday.

Registration in the National Marrow Donor Program is free at the festival and the cost of testing is being provided through a combination of health insurance and a local foundation called Michael’s Fund, created in memory of 11-year-old Michael Wrobel who died before a matching donor could be found.

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