~By Kiarra Solomon
“Nearly 300,000 people in the united states are affected by Leukemia each year.” Approximately 20,000 of those cases are African American. Leukemia is cancer of the blood and bone marrow, and is treated in most cases with a bone marrow transplant. Over 70% of people with Leukemia do not have a bone marrow match in their family. These patients rely on an international registry of bone marrow donors to cure them.
Anna Powers, was diagnosed with Leukemia about 11 years ago. She was only 25 years old. “I went in for a routine check-up. I didn’t feel sick or anything. They told me had about 5 years to live.” Leukemia was a startling diagnosis that would forever alter her life.
In spite of the grave news that she was given, Anna found something inside. “I guess that’s what you gain”, she said, “you gain not being afraid of failure.” Powers started BusyBee as a staging and design company right after her diagnosis. Fast forward over a decade and BusyBee is now a full service homestore and design center. And on Saturday January 28th, the store will be hosting a “Swab for Leukemia” event, sponsored by DKMS (DKMS is an acronym for a German organization that translates to German Bone Marrow Donor Center in English).
Anna was lucky though. Soon after her diagnosis there was a clinical drug trial for her specific type of leukemia (there are over nine types of the cancer). And if the drug trial didn’t work, she was also lucky enough to have found a match on the bone marrow donor registry. But the drug trial did work. And Anna has been in remission since starting it.
And if you’re thinking that hosting the “Swab for Leukemia” event brings it all full circle for Anna, you’re right. Because for Anna it’s about more than donating to a charity or doing a community service. She recalls going through the registry in hopes of finding a match. How horrible it must feel for those who don’t have one.
“It would be great for someone who is waiting for a match to find it from someone who walks through this store. And I want people to know that they don’t have to buy anything”, says Powers and then quickly adds “But if they do buy something, I want them to know that 25% of all sales will be donated to DKMS.”
The event will be held at the BusyBee Homestore and Design Center at 734 South Street on Saturday January 28th from 12-6pm. DKMS has donated all the kits and will be performing the swabs as well as providing education. 25% of all sales (in store and online) will be donated to DKMS.
Anna is an example and testament for anyone waiting for a match right now. The very thing that had the ability to kill her empowered her, and made her do something great. And so if this event accomplishes nothing else it is a reminder that we often perform our best when faced with the worst adversity. Her staging and design company has grown to a full service interior design company and homestore. BusyBee offers various services including floorplans and space planning, fabric selection, painting, closet design and more. BusyBee has staged various homes in the region and has designed spaces for celebrities like Kijafa Frink (fiancé of Eagles’ Quarterback Mike Vick), and others.
For more information about the event or BusyBee’s services visit their website at www.busybeephilly.com or email [email protected] Also follow them on Twitter @busybeephilly and like them on Facebook See you on January 28th!