Skip Lunch & Save a Life: Blood & Bone Marrow Donors Needed

By: Michael Fossbakk | February 16, 2018

Did you know you have the power to save a life?

Blood cancers, such as leukemia, lymphoma, sickle cell anemia and more, are life-threatening conditions that can actually be cured through a simple donation from someone that is a genetic match. You might think that people within your family would be a genetic match, but in actuality, only about 30% of matches between donors and those in need are between family members.

That is why initiatives like Be the Match® are so important. Be the Match is a registry of donors that is constantly seeking new additions. 70% of matches made between a donor and a patient in need are between complete strangers, usually paired through registries like Be the Match.

“Peripheral blood stem cell collection or marrow extraction: those are two ways they can give life to a patient,” said Be the Match Michigan representative Tarita Gibson.

If you’re interested in joining the Be the Match registry and possibly saving someone’s life, there is a marrow donor registry drive happening locally in Troy, Michigan on Saturday, February 17 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. The drive is being put on by friends and family of Bonnie Burns, a local wife and mother of two children that was diagnosed with aplastic anemia in November 2017.

This registry drive is being put on to inform members of the metro Detroit community of the need for bone marrow and blood donations around the world. If you are between the ages of 18 and 44, simply go to the event, find out if you meet the health guidelines for donation, fill out a registration form and get your mouth swabbed twice. That’s it! In the time it takes you to eat a quick lunch, you can sign up to save a life. While this drive is being put on by family and friends of Burns, there are thousands more like her that you could end up saving.

Representatives will be on-site at the Team Bonnie Burns Bone Marrow Drive this Saturday to assist. After signing up to be a donor, you’ll receive a sticker that says, “I’m a part of someone’s cure.” You’re also welcome to take a photo and share it on social media to increase awareness, as well as make a monetary donation of any amount.

If you’re unable to attend the event or a similar registry drive, you can sign up online to receive a swab kit in the mail, which you will use on yourself and send back to Be the Match. Whether registering online or through a drive, like the one mentioned above, it typically takes about 6-8 weeks for your DNA to be processed.

So, what do you say? Do you want to save a life?