EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

January 19, 2014

'Swab' donation event draws more than 100 supporters

METHUEN — Tina Habeeb said she was blown away by the kindness of people during a “swab” donation.

“I don’t know the exact number of people that came, but I would say it was over a 100,” she said. “It was unbelievable.”

Latitude Sports Club in Methuen hosted a swab donation event for Habeeb’s daughter, Cathy Habeeb-Sheehan, to find her a bone marrow donor match. Habeeb-Sheehan is 44 years old and a mother of three who is currently battling cancer.

Nine months ago, Habeeb-Sheehan was diagnosed with leukemia and been looking for a donor ever since.

People lined up at the sports club to have a swab of the mouth taken to see if they could be a match.

“We are so thankful for everyone who came out,” Habeeb said. “People are so generous and unbelievably kind.”

Results will come back in two months on if anyone tested is a match for her daughter.

Habeeb said they had to turn people away towards the end of the event due to time constraints.

They are having another swab donation event Feb. 1 at at Minuteman Park in Andover from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“That way, more people can be tested,” Habeeb said.

Habeeb said she is optimistic that they will find a donor for her daughter.

“Hopefully, we find someone soon,” she said.

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