STAMFORD, Conn. -- Stamford resident Mark Ronan has coached youth sports and been a fixture on the lacrosse and football fields at Westhill High School.
Now the married father of three needs his own cheering section.
He was diagnosed in April with myelofibrosis, a rare form of blood cancer, and needs a bone marrow transplant.
Friends and neighbors are trying to find a match for Ronan by running a bone marrow drive for Be the Match national registry on Saturday at the high school, 125 Roxbury Road.
Potential donors for Ronan and others on the list can sign up for the event, where they will be asked to fill out paperwork and give a cheek swab sample to determine their blood markers.
Ronan is hospitalized, undergoing weekly blood transfusions and intensive chemotherapy, said family friend Anne Engel.
His bone marrow, which produces blood cells, is not working, and his future depends on a bone marrow transplant.
He is a positive person, with a "can-do attitude that energizes those around him."
"He is the first one there to help, complete with his big presence, hearty laugh and quick-witted humor," Engel said.
Ronan has coached youth football and baseball, served on the board of Stamford Youth Federation, announced North Stamford Little League games, and been an active member of St. Cecilia’s Parish and Cub Scout Pack 11.
His future depends on a bone marrow transplant from the national registry, Engel said.
Potential donors can also go online to request a swab kit at www.ribc/org/bethematch , and use promo code: MatchforMark.