Can a Legal Thriller Do More Than Thrill?

Apr 14, 2011, 00:00 ET from New York Blood Center

'Novel' Reality Program Aims to Boost Breast Cancer, Leukemia Awareness ... and Recruit New Bone Marrow Donors

NEW YORK, April 14, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The arsenal of tools to educate the public about the constant need for bone marrow donors – websites, social media, patient testimonials, fundraising events, television public service announcements – is welcoming a new partner: a reality-based legal thriller in which one of the major characters gets sick.

"The Matriarchs," a novel now available in Amazon® print and Kindle® e-book formats at, is based on the personal experience of a New York Blood Center (NYBC) employee whose sister-in-law battled breast cancer, then leukemia, and finally received a bone marrow transplant.  "My colleagues work here because of their personal desire to help people in need," said NYBC Communications Director Jim "J.D." Fox.  "Me, too."  

NYBC provides blood, bone marrow and cord blood stem cells, and other cellular therapy products and services to the 20 million people of Greater New York; and extends its life-saving mission via active partnerships with other organizations throughout the United States and around the world.

"Jim is donating all profits from the sale of his book's first edition to our bone marrow recruitment efforts here at New York Blood Center," said program director Melinda Caltabiano.  "We're always working to educate the public about the constant need for new donors, and we welcome this 'novel' way to spread the word.  Also, he wrote a really good book.  It's fun to read."

Prior to his experience at NYBC, Fox worked in a similar capacity at New York's top law school (Columbia Law School) as well as New York's largest law firm (Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom).  When his sister-in-law, who lives in a suburb of Milwaukee, became the recipient of countless transfusions to combat her aggressive breast cancer and leukemia, Fox saw an opportunity to combine his professional history and writing skills to raise awareness and money.  

"I've read memoirs written by authors who've gone through what we went through," he said, "But not a reality-based thriller, which could potentially reach a lot more people.  I'm well-versed in the world of elite law schools and top corporate law firms, and I learned about the often heartbreaking search for donors.  So, I put it all together, and wrote a book."  

During the most difficult days of her struggle with breast cancer and leukemia, Theresa Fox said that she "wanted to live to see my first grandchild."  After a successful bone marrow transplant at Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin, she became a proud grandmother ... twice. Theresa has been leukemia-free for two years, and is now back to teaching her middle school special education classes.

"My family's story has a happy ending," said Fox.   "We'd like to see more stories turn out this way, and the only way to do that is by recruiting more donors."

The following images are available for download at

Suggested Photo Captions:

Photo One (Theresa Fox and Eliza)

Theresa Fox with her granddaughter Eliza shortly after Theresa's successful bone marrow transplant.

Photo Two (Fox Family)

Robert and Theresa Fox with their granddaughters Eliza (left) and Hadley.  Theresa Fox has been leukemia-free for two years following a successful bone marrow transplant.

About New York Blood Center:  New York Blood Center (NYBC) is the nation's largest non-profit, community-based blood center. NYBC has been providing blood, transfusion products and services to hospitals since 1964, serving more than 20 million people in New York City, Long Island, the Hudson Valley, New Jersey, and parts of Connecticut and Pennsylvania.  NYBC is also home to the Lindsley F. Kimball Research Institute and the National Cord Blood Program at the Howard P. Milstein National Cord Blood Center, the world's largest public cord blood bank.  NYBC provides medical services and programs (Clinical, Transfusion, and Hemophilia Services) through our medical professionals along with consultative services in transfusion medicine. Please visit us on Facebook at  Follow us on Twitter: @NYBloodCenter at

Contact:  Christine Dingfelder
Medical / Research Communications Manager
718.797.7814 Office / 917.763.1648 Cell

SOURCE New York Blood Center