On Wednesday, October 18, the names of 17 Fire Department of New York (FDNY) members who donated their bone marrow or stem cells were added to the Honor Roll of Life plaque in a ceremony at New York Blood Center Enterprises headquarters in Manhattan. This was the first-time members of NYBC, the FDNY, and Be The Match, reunited to celebrate FDNY donors since 2019.

Five-year-old f Cristiano Frigoli runs to embrace his blood marrow donor, FDNY firefighter Ryan McLean.
FDNY firefighters added to the Honor Roll of Life plaque

One FDNY Firefighter had the honor of seeing firsthand the result of his lifesaving donation. Firefighter Ryan McLean of Engine 255 met the recipient of his bone marrow, a healthy and happy five-year-old from Texas named Cristiano Frigoli.

For more than 30 years, the FDNY has partnered with Be The Match and NYBC to save lives through the Elaine Diedrich, Terrence P. Farrell Memorial Donor Program. Retired FDNY Firefighter Mark Kwalwasser began this program for his sister, Elaine, who was diagnosed with Leukemia in 1989 at the age of 39.  A match was never found for Elaine, and she lost her battle to leukemia in 1990. In 1993, Terrence P. Farrell was one of the first firefighters to donate his bone marrow. His donation was for a 5-year-old named Chantyl Peterson who, because of Terry’s marrow donation, won her battle with T-cell lymphoma and is now a 35-year-old healthy mother. Terry often spoke with other firefighters about the importance of this program. 

Unfortunately, Terry was one of the 343 brave FDNY members who lost their lives on 9/11. Mark Kwalwasser honored Terry for his support by adding his name to the program. Their memories live on through this special program. 

To date, nearly 12,000 FDNY members have joined the national registry of volunteer blood stem cell and bone marrow donors (many in partnership with NYBC).  Amazingly, more than 220 FDNY members have donated these gifts to patients since 1991 and in some cases more than once.

Help save lives. Donate blood today.