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PARENTS OF TWIN TRAGEDY SEEK HELP

 PARENTS OF TWIN TRAGEDY SEEK HELP
 TOLEDO, Ohio, Dec. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Randy and Lucy Perretti are


appealing for donors to save their nine-week old twin daughters, both born with a rare genetic form of leukemia.
 Marena and Marissa were born Sept. 24, 1991, in Toledo to Lucy Perretti, a homemaker, and Randy Perretti, a construction supervisor. The Perretti's joy soon turned into a double tragedy when they learned three weeks after the birth of the twins that both of their two daughters had acute lymphoblastic leukemia with a chromosomal abnormality in the bone marrow. There are only 200 cases of this rare blood disease reported worldwide and never reported in twins until the Perretti case.
 "This is already a rare event, and for that to occur in a pair of twins is unique," said Dr. Ching-Hon Pui, a pediatric leukemia specialist at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn.
 Doctors are treating the twins with chemotherapy and they are improving, but their chances of long-term survival are only 10 percent with this form of treatment. Dr. Emel Bayar, pediatric oncologist at the Medical College Hospitals in Toledo, believes the Perretti twins' best hope is a bone marrow transplant. A search is now underway to find a suitable donor.
 The bone marrow transplant procedure involves destroying the diseased bone marrow through chemotherapy or radiation, removing bone marrow from a healthy donor with a matching tissue type, and transferring the new bone marrow cells to the twins in a process resembling a blood transfusion.
 All of this is an expensive process requiring a lengthy hospital stay and follow-up treatment for a number of months or years. Like most Americans facing catastrophic medical expenses, the Perretti's insurance and personal financial resources will be quickly exhausted.
 Friends and relatives have set up the Leukemia Twins Fund for those wishing to donate to help defer the twins' medical expenses. Donations should be sent to: Leukemia Twins Fund, Marena and Marissa Perretti, c/o Huntington National Bank, 1207 North Reynolds Road, Toledo, Ohio 43615.
 -0- 12/5/91
 /CONTACT: Randy or Lucy Perretti at hospital, 419-381-4829 or 419-381-4828; or Maxine Bingham of Maxtec Communications, 408-496-6744, for Randy and Lucy Perretti/ CO: Maxtec Communications ST: Ohio; California IN: SU:


DB -- SFFNS1 -- 9459 12/05/91 07:31 EST
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Date:Dec 5, 1991
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