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Press Releases / 2010 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: JANUARY 24, 2010



FDNY Firefighters Who Donated Bone Marrow Will Meet Recipients for the First Time

Fire Commissioner Salvatore J. Cassano, Christopher D. Hillyer, M.D., President and CEO of New York Blood Center (NYBC) and Howard P. Milstein, Chairman of NYBC’s Board of Trustees; will add the names of the 2009 FDNY bone marrow donors to the “Honor Roll of Life” at the sixth annual induction ceremony, to be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, January 25 at FDNY Headquarters, 9 Metrotech Center, Brooklyn, NY. There will also be a blood drive on site outside of FDNY Headquarters from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for those who would like to donate blood.

During the ceremony, Firefighter Alex Lee, 27 years old, of Engine 69 in Manhattan and retired Firefighter William (Billy) Pollack, 47 years old, of Engine 292 in Queens will meet the recipients of their stem cell donations. Recipients Gary Williams, 55 years old, from Brandon, Mississippi; and Patricia Naasz, 50 years old, of Stockton, California will, for the first time, be introduced to the firefighters that saved their lives.

Former Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta will be also be honored by NYBC with the Kwalwasser Award for his years of service to NYBC as Community Co-Chair on the NYBC Volunteer Leadership Campaign. The Kwalwasser Award is named after Mark Kwalwasser who founded the bone marrow program with NYBC after his sister Elaine Diedrich was unable to find a match for her condition and passed away.

In 2009, New York Blood Center was proud to celebrate more than 1,000 total life-saving stem cell transplants from members of its registry. Of the more than 1,000 gifts that were made to patients, nearly 13 percent were comprised of FDNY donors. During the ceremony, the names of 10 firefighters will be added to the honor roll, bringing the total number of firefighter donors since the program began to 126.

For a list of NYBC locations in NY and NJ, please visit and click on the “Locate a Blood Drive” link or call 1-800-933-BLOOD (2566).



Commissioner Salvatore J. Cassano; NYBC President and CEO Dr. Christopher Hillyer; Chairman of NYBC’s Board of Trustees, Howard Milstein, Director of the Health Service Bureau for the FDNY, Mary T. McLaughlin; Former Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta; NYBC Vice President of Corporate and Community Relations Rolf Kovenetsky, FDNY firefighter donors and other FDNY officials


FDNY Headquarters Auditorium, 9 Metrotech Center, Brooklyn


Monday, January 25, 2010 - 11 a.m.

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Press Contact: Francis X. Gribbon & Frank Dwyer, (FDNY) (718) 999-2056

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