Bradford Pine: Good to the Bone

Firm: Bradford Pine Wealth Group (Cantella & Co.)

City: New York City

Age: 44

Years as a rep: 20

Years with current firm: 5

AUM: $50 million

Product mix: Stocks, 15%; bonds, 9%; managed accounts, 75%; insurance, 1%

Designations, licenses: Series 4, 7, 24, 63, 65, life and health

There are 800 million users of Facebook but only 9 million on a national registry for bone marrow donors, Bradford Pine says. The contrast is startling to Pine, an independent advisor who underwent the procedure last winter. “Everybody's being social on the Internet, but they have the possible opportunity to save a life and they're not on there,” he says.

According to the DKMS Bone Marrow Donor Center, thousands of patients with leukemia and other serious illnesses that have crippled their ability to produce blood cells depend on finding people whose marrow is a genetic match to their own. Six out of 10 patients never find the match they need. Pine, who started out with Lehman Brothers 20 years ago and formed his current firm in 2007, first learned about the procedure about two and a half years ago when a friend of a friend whose college-age daughter had leukemia told him they were looking for a match. Pine had a swab taken from the inside of his mouth, which was sent to the registry. He wasn't a match, and was saddened to learn later that the young woman had died.

Then last year the registry contacted him and said he was a tentative match for another patient. One of the misunderstandings about bone marrow donation is the extent to which it involves a painful medical procedure. It can be true in the case of donors from whom blood stem cells are withdrawn from the pelvic bone. But Pine says that procedure is necessary only 20 percent of the time. The rest of the time, donors undergo a regime of five injections to boost the production of blood stem cells, and then submit to a blood transfusion procedure that takes about six hours. Pine brought his laptop with him that day to occupy the hours, and other than some sluggishness the next day, there were no side effects at all.

Dawn Crapanzano, the bone marrow transplant donor coordinator at New York Presbyterian Hospital, says Pine is an ideal donor. “He has a very upbeat attitude. He was willing to do anything that was required of him,” she says. “He never lost sight that there was a recipient at the other end. It was never about him.”

Since then Pine has shared his experience on a video he posted on YouTube. He also obtained the rights to a URL, swabmycheek.com, which links to the DKMS site. “I have a mission to tell my story,” he says.

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