A man whose life depended on finding a bone marrow donor of Greek ancestry has died despite finding a match for a transplant.
Tony Arendt, 25, an East Valley native who lived in Flagstaff, died Feb. 25 after spending about nine months in the hospital for acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a rare and aggressive leukemia. After chemotherapy, Arendt went into remission for 19 days, but he relapsed, which required a bone marrow transplant.
When no matching donors were found among family and the national bone marrow registry, the Arendt family reached out to the Greek community at a donor drive Dec. 5 at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Phoenix. Nearly 80 people joined the drive, and a match was found. But Arendt’s health did not improve enough for him to undergo a transplant, said Kristine Burnett, a spokeswoman for Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center in Phoenix, where Arendt stayed.
Arendt’s funeral was Thursday. His family has asked that donations be made to the National Marrow Donor Program.