Donors needed to save life of Carine father

Carine's Gennaro Rapinese with his wife Joanne and children Mia (7), Stella (6) and Nicholas (2).
Carine's Gennaro Rapinese with his wife Joanne and children Mia (7), Stella (6) and Nicholas (2).

A DESPERATE search is on for a bone marrow donor to save the life of a Carine father.

Duncraig’s Meg Gillard has organised a blood drive in North Beach on Saturday to try to find a match for her friend Gennaro Rapinese, who needs a lifesaving bone marrow transplant to help him beat acute myeloid leukaemia.

Mr Rapinese was first diagnosed with the blood cancer in 2015 and was in remission before it was found to have returned five weeks ago.

“This time his success will depend on a bone marrow donation,” Ms Gillard said.

“To survive he needs a donor.”

People are encouraged to provide a simple blood donation on Saturday, which will determine if they are a match and if so, will then need to donate bone marrow.

“There’s a lot of misconceptions around it (marrow donation),” she said.

“It’s certainly not invasive surgery like most people think it is.”

About 200 people have signed up so far, including 40 North Beach Football Club member, but more are needed to donate at Davey Real Estate between 9am and 1pm.

Coffee shop 96 Express is providing free coffee to donors.

Ms Gillard said the most likely matches for Mr Rapinese would be men aged under 45 of Italian or Scottish descent and encouraged people to donate.

“You just have no idea what your future holds. It could be you or someone you know,” she said.

To donate, text your full name and preferred time to Ms Gillard on 0417 959 915.

Future drives are planned around Perth; follow G’s Army on Facebook for updates.

Learn about donating bone marrow at The Australian Bone Marrow Donor Registry.