Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

June 20, 2013

Match means hope for area boy

Barry Porterfield
Pauls Valley Democrat — It looks to be a true team effort as Wynnewood residents and others are banding together to help the local family of a young boy battling a severe and unique immune disorder.

For 6-year-old Conrad Dixon a chance at life has come in the form of a match that now allows the process to move toward a possible bone marrow transplant in the near future.

In the meantime area residents are coming together to offer some help for Conrad and his parents, Erin and Clay Dixon.

A fundraiser to help out the family with the mounting expenses from this ongoing ordeal will come to Wynnewood this Saturday as a large garage and bake sale is planned by “Team Conrad” supporters in the Roger Camp Insurance parking lot located on South Dean A. McGee.

For Conrad’s mom it’s amazing how quickly this event came together.

“People have been awesome and so supportive,” Erin said.

“It started out as a simple garage sale,” she said. “It started snowballing and turned into this huge deal.

“It got to the point where tons of people started donating things.”

All proceeds will go to Dixon family as they travel to and from Denver, Colo., in the hope Conrad will someday receive his life-saving transplant.

Along with the garage and bake sales, the Saturday gathering in Wynnewood will also include an effort to sign people up to be on the national registry of possible bone marrow donors.

That’s where a match was found for Conrad. According to Erin, the idea here is to sign up a bunch of folks to possibly help somebody else when they need a donor match in the future.

“We have a match for Conrad, but my husband and I want to give back by signing up people for the national registry,” Erin said.

“We signed up 20 to be donors. People need to remember when they sign up it’s not for Conrad but to possibly help somebody else,” she added.

The sign up process literally takes seconds and involves a swabbing from inside the mouth for DNA testing purposes.

A push to sign up even more people to the national registry of bone marrow donors will be a big part of Saturday’s garage and bake sales as several more sample kits will be available.

As for Conrad, with a match now found the next step is to get it verified. If the long process works out in the Dixon’s favor they will eventually return to Denver for Conrad’s bone marrow transplant.

“Even if we have a perfect match we’ve got a long way to go before he’s cured,” Erin said.