Friday, January 23, 2009

RSL Rallies to Help Midfielder Williams' Cancer-sticken Wife

[RSL and a Cause]Real Salt Lake fans can’t help but fall in love with midfielder Andy Williams. He plays his heart out on the field. When you factor in the torturous battle his wife Marcia (pronounced Mar-see-a) is waging against leukemia, his appearances on the pitch last season all the more extraordinary.

That's Marcia and Andy, left. Marcia yesterday celebrated her becoming a U.S. citizen, which makes the story that much more poignant.

RSL conducted a search for a bone marrow match at its Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy at the end of 2008. Now the Williams' family church, Grace Community Bible Church in Sandy, is joining the battle against time with a donor drive this Sunday from noon to 2 pm. In addition, on Thursday January 29, the team will host another drive at the stadium from 3 pm to 7 pm, with all 30 players going through the bone marrow matching process.

According to a statement issued by RSL this week, Andy Williams says “we found out that Marcia’s blood results were the lowest that has ever been.” Her white counts are so low, she has to wear a mask and can’t be around crowds. The discovery of an abnormal chromosome in her blood leaves Andy and Marcia Williams with the option of either a bone marrow transplant, for which they have not found a match, or a cord blood transplant. The latter option is much riskier and the Williams’ cancer specialist has yet to perform the procedure on an adult.

Andy Williams will attend RSL’s pre-season while friends and family keep Marcia company in hospital. Time is running out, making each of these drives critically important. For further information on how you might help as a potential donor, go here.
(Stephen Dark)

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