A little girl with connections to Marion is in serious need of a bone marrow transplant and a local business co-owned by her grandfather plans to hold a special event Wednesday to help find a suitable donor.
A couple of weeks ago, The McDowell News reported about the opening of Keeper’s Cut Meadery, located at 175 W. Henderson St. This craft beverage business, which produces and sells mead, is owned by Charles Myers, Kathryn Curran and Myers’ son Kurt, who is now a chief warrant officer on active duty with the U.S. Navy working on cyber security.
Unfortunately, Kurt Myers’ 3-year-old daughter Ailani has an aggressive form of leukemia and is being treated now at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore, Md. Both Kurt Myers and Ailani’s mother Princecine Johnson are with the little girl 24/7 as she fights for her life, according to grandfather Charles Myers.
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Kurt Myers was able to receive humanitarian leave from the Navy to be with his daughter at this time.
“She’s in the hospital now for a few days,” said Charles Myers to The McDowell News. “She is receiving some more chemical treatment. She only knows she has bad blood.”
This little girl is in dire need of a bone marrow transplant. But because she is of mixed race, this makes the search for a suitable donor much more difficult.
On Wednesday, Keeper’s Cut Meadery in Marion will hold a special bone marrow registration event to help find a donor and save the life of Ailani Myers. It is being held in partnership with Be the Match National Marrow Donor Registry.
“We need to find donors who are of mixed race to be her genetic match for her bone marrow transplant,” said Amy Schatz, community engagement representative, to The McDowell News. “There is less than a 20% chance to find a match for a mixed race patient right now and it is just because there are so few mixed race people who are on the registry and willing to donate. Therefore, due to the fact that Ailani is mixed race it makes it more difficult to find her a perfect match. This matter is very urgent as they are hoping to begin her transplant process within the next month.”
The registration event will be held from 2-6 p.m. Wednesday at Keeper’s Cut Meadery. Prospective donors are asked to stop into the meadery, complete a registration form and allow their cheeks to be swabbed. The national registry will do the rest.
Donors ages 18 through 44 will be accepted. Mixed race donors are particularly sought, as Ailani is biracial, but her perfect match may end up being of any race, so register regardless of racial make-up. You will be added to the national registry as well, according to the Facebook post for the event.
Everyone who completes a cheek swab and registration form will receive their choice of one of Keeper's Cut Meadery shirts or a hat. There will be free hot dogs available.
Those older than 44 wishing to help can make a donation of any amount, or purchase a shirt or hat for $20 with all profits going to Be The Match to help offset the cost of adding donors to the registry.
If unable to make the drive to Keeper’s Cut, text 4Ailani to 61474 to register and receive swab kit in the mail.
“Time is of the essence,” reads the Facebook page for the event. “Ailani will need her transplant within a few short weeks.”
For more information, visit the Facebook page for Keeper’s Cut Meadery or go to