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Adopted Girl, Seeking Marrow Donors, Discovers Two Sisters

April 15, 1995

ATLANTA (AP) _ Finding two sisters she never knew she had wasn’t even the best news for Alicia Clack.

On Friday, doctors for the 12-year-old who was adopted as an infant said her sisters can provide the bone marrow transplant she needs to fight a rare blood disease.

The transplant, expected within a few weeks, will give Alicia at least a 70 percent chance of full recovery from aplastic anemia, said Dr. Carol Lehan. Further tests are needed to determine which of the two sisters is the better donor.

``When I found out, I screamed all the way up the driveway,″ said her adoptive mother, Jill Clack.

``To have a match is wonderful,″ said Mrs. Clack’s husband, Richard. ``To have two matches, I can’t describe.″

Alicia and her 11-year-old brother, Jonathan Michael, were adopted by the Clacks as infants. They didn’t know until recently that they had two older sisters, Pamela 15, and Linda, 13, who were adopted by other families.

The sisters were located last week when a judge unsealed adoption records in hopes of saving Alicia’s life. The four siblings met for the first time last weekend and plan to spend Easter Sunday together.

The brother also was tested for the transplant, but the tests indicated he would not be a good match.

Aplastic anemia causes bone marrow to stop making a normal supply of blood cells. Alicia’s sisters had a one in four chance of matching closely enough to provide a transplant, said Lehan, who is treating Alicia at Scottish Rite Children’s Medical Center.

For the donor, the transplant means a day in the hospital, extraction of marrow from the hips and several days of soreness. But both sisters, whose last names and home towns were not released, sounded undaunted Friday.

``I don’t like to watch people die,″ said Pamela.

``How could anybody not do it?″ said Linda.