Donate Platelets for Courtenay

One of our neighbors can use your help. Courtenay Silvergleid Wallpe, Ph.D., 42, was diagnosed with a life threatening strain of Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS), a blood cancer, in late 2010. She now needs a bone marrow transplant. She was scheduled to have one last month when she found out the devastating news that the potential donor was no longer a “match”. This was the fourth potential identified match unable to donate for various reasons.

A mother of two young boys, Zachary and Zander, Courtenay has also been a long-time source of inspiration and hard work for our community. She served as Board President of Tahoe SAFE Alliance, facilitated the strategic planning process for Tahoe Expedition Academy, created Terrific Trekkers, a hiking club for kids and their families, and been involved with MOMS (Mom’s Offering Mothers Support) since 2004.

Courtenay and her husband Bryan say there are two options for donating platelets:

  1. The first option is to have your platelets typed specifically for Courtenay.  The results from this test will take approximately 2 days to receive.  Because they will expedite the process, this test costs $213.  If you are a match for Courtenay, you will be asked to come back to donate platelets.  If you are not a match, you can choose to have your information go into the national registry for others seeking a platelet match.
  2. The second option is to be tested for the national registry.  The results from this test will take approximately 4 weeks.  This test is $58.  If you are a match for Courtenay, that will be identified.  If not, again, you will be in the national registry for others seeking a match.

There is only a small chance that you would be a match for Courtenay based on her unique HLA typing.  Should you be a match, however, either option has the potential to be beneficial as she will likely require transfusions for the next several months. 

If you would like to be tested but the cost of either option is prohibitive, Courtenay and Bryan have set aside funds from their HelpHopeLive account to help subsidize the cost.

For those of you living in the Tahoe area, United Blood Services out of Reno will be coming to Incline Village Thursday, June 28 from 8:00 AM-Noon to do testing.  They will be set up at the Main Fire Station in town.  If you would like to be tested, please take the following steps

Send an e-mail to with the following:

1)  Name as it appears on your Drivers License

2)  A contact phone number so that Bill can confirm a time with you

3)  Which option you would like and if you would like the HelpHopeLive fund to cover all or a portion of the cost.

Please note that United Blood Services only accept credit cards. 

If you can’t make it on Thursday but would still like to help, you can contact United Blood Services directly at (775) 324-6454 to set up an appointment.

If you do not live in the area but would like to be tested to see if you are a match for Courtenay, you can contact Bill Ferrall at to get the details that you will need.  If you would simply like to go into the national registry, you can go directly to your local blood bank for details.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our dear friend Bill Ferrall at (775) 830-7113 or as he has graciously agreed to handle the details of the platelet search!!

Let’s all do what we can for this dynamic woman who has been of such service to our community.

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