Meet Ronnie Mascheck

Ronnie Mascheck and his son, Zack
August 25, 2013 5:21:32 PM PDT
I got involved with the marrow program shortly after Zack passed away. I could not let him die in vain and giving blood and platelets was not enough. I saw how his death completely turned our family upside down and the hurt we were experiencing. I didn't want this to happen to anyone else. I was looking for another avenue to be able to help.

Miraculously, Jeff and the registry people came out to the Houston Police Academy, where I was assigned, to do a registry campaign with our new cadets. I discussed Zack's and our family's circumstances with Aracely Calzadias, the registry representative. She asked if I would help them by their using the story in presentations. I asked my wife and daughter-in-law (Zack's wife) and they agreed that if it would help bring awareness, that I should do it.

I had a fear of public speaking but found it not that difficult with the new cadets, since I taught a couple of short classes with them. We started doing the presentations to new cadet classes and during the sign-up process, officers who were not aware of marrow transplants, asked how they could sign up.

I felt that we may have missed a number of the officers in the previous attempt to sign up potential donors. I wrote a letter to then Chief Hurtt asking for and receiving permission to do a short presentation to the officers during mandatory in-service classes. I didn't know that I would have to speak before 160 to 200 officers. I thought the registry representatives would do it. (I was really frightened?I would chase a bad guy in the dark, but was more afraid of speaking to my friends and peers). We did this for one year and signed up an additional 2,000 officers. Since that time, we've had 11 officers either do stem cell or bone marrow transplants.

I was medically retired by the city and this afforded me a great deal more time to volunteer. We are now doing presentations to local police academies, college classes and other venues that allow us to come in and do campaigns. I am also fortunate enough to be able to be a volunteer courier and escort transplants to awaiting patients. I was able to be the courier for two of the officers' donations.


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