A Gift in His Memory
Blood drive, bone marrow testing to honor fallen hero

By Pat Burson

March 30, 2003

Before Terrence Farrell became one of New York's bravest, Brendan Joe McGarry taught him the ropes of policing the city subway system.

"When Terry came on the job, I was his training officer. We worked together for quite a few years," said McGarry, a 33-year officer with the New York Police Department Transit Bureau who works out of the District 1 office at Columbus Circle in Manhattan.

The two remained close after Farrell left the transit police to join the city fire department. "He was a very good friend," McGarry, 55, said. "Unfortunately, he lost his life on 9/11."

Farrell, a Huntington resident and a 45-year-old husband and father of two, was serving with Rescue Co. 4 from Woodside when he died at the World Trade Center. He also had served with volunteer fire departments on Long Island, as fire chief in Hicksville and assistant chief in Dix Hills.

The New York State Fraternal Order of Police will conduct a blood drive and bone marrow testing Thursday and dedicate all donations in the fallen firefighter's memory.

Farrell was a tireless advocate for the city fire department's bone marrow program. In 1993, his donated bone marrow was used to save a 6-year-old Nevada girl suffering from T-cell lymphoma.

On Thursday, doctors and nurses from Nassau University Medical Center will collect blood and bone marrow from 3-8 p.m. at the FOP headquarters, 911 Police Plaza, north of the Hicksville railroad station.

Donors must beat least 18 and weigh more than 110 pounds. Bone marrow testing requires a test tube of blood and is open to anyone who has not been tested previously.

McGarry, who also serves as president of Transit Police Memorial Lodge No. 317, said FOP members have donated money to help cover the cost of the bone marrow testing. While the lodge has held numerous blood drives around the state, McGarry said this will be its first on the Island.

"Anybody who believes in good causes, the blood drive is a great way to do something really nice to help somebody," McGarry said. "One pint of blood can go so far.... When you think about how many people you can help with that pint of blood, you get a good feeling."

For information, call the New York State Fraternal Order of Police office at 516-433-4455.