Bone Marrow Drive to be Held on July 31

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July 18, 2011

Every day, thousands of patients suffer from illnesses like Leukemia, Lymphoma, Hodgkin's Disease, Immunodeficiencies, and Sickle Cell Anemia.

Diane has Leukemia and is in need of a bone marrow transplant.

Diane has Leukemia and is in need of a bone marrow transplant.

Diane with one of three grandchildren, Judah

Diane with Judah, one of her three grandchildren

A bone marrow transplant may be their only option for survival. 

Although some patients with leukemia or other cancers have a family member who can donate, most do not. Their lives depend on finding an unrelated individual with a compatible tissue type, often within their own ethnic group, who is willing to donate marrow for them.

Unfortunately, 60% of patients do not find a donor who can save their lives.

Brenda Neblecky, a Registered Nurse for Catholic Health's McAuley Seton Home Care, and Linda Anderson, a Nurse's Aide at Mercy Hospital, are hoping to beat those odds. Their sister, Diane, who has three children and is the leader of her church's youth group, has Leukemia and is in need of a life-saving transplant.

A Few Minutes Can Save a Life

To help match compatible donors with those in need of transplants, Brenda and Linda have partnered with DKMS to host a bone marrow drive at two Western New York locations.

The drive will be held on Sunday, July 31, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at:

Knights of Columbus
55 Main St.
Tonawanda,  NY

South Buffalo Moose Club
2019 South Park Avenue
Buffalo,  NY

Participants will swab the inside of their cheeks  to collect enough cells to determine their HLA (Human Leukocyte Antigens) tissue type. The procedure takes only a few minutes.

After a swab is taken, participants are added to the Be The Match RegistrySM and are contacted if they are matched with a patient. While there is usually a $65 fee to register, registration at the July 31 drive is free

Because patients are most likely to find a compatible donor of similar racial and ethnic backgrounds, a diverse group of potential donors is needed. Only a small percentage of the 8 million volunteer donors who have joined the national Registry are people of color.

No Appointments Required

Appointments for the event are not required. Just walk in!

Eligibility

Participants must meet the following requirements:

  • Be between the ages of 18 and 55
  • Be in good general health
  • Weigh more than 110 lbs but not exceed BMI 40
  • Not be HIV positive or have AIDS
  • Not have had heart surgery or heart disease
  • Not have autoimmune disorders such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis or multiple sclerosis
  • Not have sleep apnea, breathing problems or severe asthma (daily inhalers are acceptable)
  • Not have diabetes requiring insulin (or injectible medication)
  • Not have hepatitis B or C
  • Not have had a stroke (including a TIA)
  • Not have chronic or severe neck or back problems
  • Not have epilepsy or have had a seizure within one year
  • Not have had a blood clot or a bleeding disorder
  • Not have a personal history of cancer (melanoma, breast, bladder and cervical cancer [stage 0, in situ] and cured localized skin cancer [basal cell or squamous cell] are acceptable)

Click here for more information.

Donating Bone Marrow

If you match a patient, your commitment to donate is very important, but you have the right to change your mind. However, a late decision to not donate can be life-threatening to a patient.

The majority of donations do not involve surgery. Today, the patient's doctor most often requests a peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) donation, which is non-surgical. "People can donate bone marrow like giving blood," says Brenda Neblecky.

Donors typically go home on the same day on which they donate and are back to their normal routines in one to two days. 

Click here for more information about the donation process.

Share this Information

The more people who are added to the registry, the better the chance of finding a match for Diane and others like her, whose lives depend on a bone marrow transplant.

Click on the "Share" button on the left side of the page to share this information with your friends and family and make a difference for those in need.

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