- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 30, 2001

Four-year-old leukemia victim Alante James Ali Glascoe was buried yesterday, but he left behind a legacy of several hundred potential life-saving names in the national bone marrow registry, which provides some comfort to his family and friends.
"We will miss you, Alante," read the words on the cover of a large homemade card crafted by his classmates, many of whom attended the funeral services at a Northwest church.
On the inside of the card, the children wrote: "You're on the big playground in the sky. You're an angel with wings." A family friend read the words to those gathered at New Southern Rock Baptist Church on Buchanan Street.
Born in April 1997, Alante died last Sunday at Children's National Medical Center in the District after his lungs were infected during treatment of a rare form of leukemia.
The Upper Marlboro resident, who survived brain surgery at 7 months old, was a "strong little boy," an uncle told the mourners of all ages who filled the chapel. "He will always be missed and never be forgotten."
Alante's white casket with gold-plated rails lay in front, where civic leaders read cards and telegrams sent to the family by area churches and organizations.
"Those who love you would do what they could to cushion this blow to you," one message read.
Leukemia, a form of cancer of the blood, causes an increase in white blood cells that attack the body's immune system. When Alante first was diagnosed, the Washington region became a staging area for drives to find compatible stem cells for his bone-marrow transplant surgery.
The seven community drives were a success. More than 600 black residents contributed samples of their marrow to the national registry.
"That's a big number; 600 is unusually large," said Helen Ng, spokeswoman for the Minneapolis-based National Marrow Donor Program, a registry that she said is the largest of its kind in the world. "He must have been a well-liked boy."
Only 8 percent of registry participants are black, Ms. Ng said, but their numbers have increased through the registry's aggressive efforts over the past decade.
A sibling is the most likely compatible donor, Ms. Ng said, but no such match was possible with Alante's older brother, Antione Jr., his younger brother, A'mari, or his half-sister, A'mesia.
Alante found a compatible donor during one of the drives the matching blood came from a baby from an undisclosed area and underwent transplant surgery Nov. 6, said his mother, Farrah Gibbs. His body reacted favorably but his lungs became infected.
Rocky Twyman, who helped organize the drives for Alante, said the 600 samples gave deeper resonance to the boy's short but meaningful time on earth.
"You have done a magnificent job and stuck by your child to the end," Mr. Twyman told Alante's mother and his father, Antione Glascoe.
Alante, who attended school at the Children's Discovery Center in Mitchellville, was buried at Harmony National Park in Landover.
An aunt said Alante was more like a son to her than a nephew. He "arrived in April, like most beautiful flowers do," she said.
Mrs. Gibbs said she will continue her attempts to encourage blood drives to help other children like Alante.
"Even though I've seen four children die, I've seen a lot of children survive," she said. "You might as well try, because most of the times, they live."

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