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11:34 AM, Jun 13, 2013   |    comments
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DULUTH, Ga. --  Until recently, Marina Sampanes Peed was known to her friends as a mother, a volunteer and a giving member of the Gwinnett County community.

Today the words "fighter" and "patient" are heard more often. That's because Peed is fighting a disease that she's quietly battled over the past six years. It's a battle she can no longer fight alone.

"Marina is a fighter but she has until the end of the summer before she will likely be too ill for a transplant," said friend Lynn Agnes.

Peed has been suffering from Chronic Polycythemia for the past six years. It has transformed into aggressive myelofibrosis. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human services, it's a rare condition that affects approximately one in 500,000 people worldwide.

"It essentially means her bone marrow is worn out and she needs a blood stem cell transplant to survive," Agnes said.

Peed is a 47-year-old mother to two teenage children, Katrina and Alex. Neither is a match for a bone marrow transplant.

Peed's children, friends and members of her community and church are now on a mission to find a bone marrow match.

They've teamed up with to organize bone marrow registration drives at Peachtree Ridge High School, which Peed's children attend, and other locations across Gwinnett County.

They hope find a match for Peed and others fighting a similar battle and to clear up misconceptions about donating bone marrow.

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Anyone ages 18-55 can register as a donor.

There are two more scheduled bone marrow registration drives to try to find a match for Peed:

Sunday, June 16: Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation, 11:30 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Thursday, June 27: Gwinnett Medical Center - Duluth,  10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

"Marina has until the end of the summer to find a donor match. She wants to live and wants to help others like her survive," Anges said. "Please spread the word. Save someone you love or a stranger who will love you forever."

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