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Published on March 29, 2012

Valley West Hosts "Be The Match Marrow Cell Registry Drive"

March 29, 2012

Be The MatchThe Cancer Center at Valley West Community Hospital is pleased to host a Be The Match Marrow Cell Registry Drive on Wednesday, April 25, from 2 – 6 pm. When her own father, Jim Olson, was diagnosed with a very advanced, aggressive form of leukemia, Kari McLean, a nurse at Valley West’s sister hospital, Kishwaukee Community Hospital, joined the Marrow Cell Registry without hesitation. Seeing the dire need for critically ill patients to receive life-saving marrow cells, she began the process of planning a marrow cell drive at Kish Hospital. Because of her donation, she was able to have spent more months with her dad before he died. 

Deb Bemis, RN, BSN, Oncology Director of The Cancer Center at Valley West Community Hospital says only 30% who need a marrow transplant can find a match with a family member. A cheek swab is all that's necessary to join the Be The Match Marrow Cell Registry. Only one in 540 who join the registry get asked to be a donor, but it's a first step toward a life-saving marrow transplant for someone in need. Three of our own Cancer Center patients needed a marrow transplant in 2011. Thousands of patients with leukemia and other life-threatening diseases depend on the Be The Match Registry of the National Marrow Donor Program. All participants are asked to complete a four-page application, which takes 10-15 minutes. 

Valley West is hosting a Be The Match Marrow Cell Registry Drive, on Wednesday, April 25, from 2 – 6 pm, in the hospital’s main atrium lobby. Those interested in joining the registry, should be healthy and between the ages of 18 and 60. A cheek swab is all that’s necessary to join the registry. There is a critical need for people under age 45, young men age 18+, and those who have ethnic diversity. Registration forms are available on the day of the event or may be picked up in advance at The Cancer Center or hospital front desk. Forms may be filled out in advance and turned in at the drive. 

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