“Be the Match” save a life – bone marrow donors needed

MARQUETTE — Every four minutes someone is diagnosed with a blood cancer. “Be The Match” campaign is in the U.P. asking everyone to sign up and help save a life.

The regional chapter of ‘Be The Match” works to connect patients in need of a bone marrow or stem cell transplant, to their matching donor. Many here in the U.P have already signed up and say it’s a rewarding experience everyone should get involved in. And, connecting with the person whom you helped save is an extra special blessing.

“She lives in Seattle, she is 69 years old, she had acute leukemia and we email back and forth, we are Facebook friends and we send letters and she even wrote a reference letter for me, for a job, so it’s pretty cool. It was amazing, there was some pain involved but it was completely worth it and I would do it again in a heartbeat.,” said Brook Dishaw, Donor.

Donor Ben Greenwald had this to say, ‘I didn’t go through the traditional bone marrow where they put a needle into your bone and pull out the bone barrow, it was a blood stem cell process that was relatively painless and I would recommend it to everyone, it was an amazing experience.”

” It’s a registry for patients with blood disorders such a leukemia, lymphoma, sickle cell anemia and they get to a point where chemotheraphy and radiation is no longer working for them so they need a bone marrow or stem cell transplant in order to save their life,” said Coordinator, Caitlin Regan.

A few minutes of paper work and a cheek swab is all it takes to help save a life. This step does not make you a donor, it is merely adds your tissue type to the registry.

“This is a really great cause so right now there are 22 million people on the international registry, there are still patients out there who do not have have a match so it is very important that we continue to add people to the registry and really diversity the registry so that every patient has a shot at care,” continued Regan.

And it’s not too late if you want to sign up, they are on the NMU campus today until 7pm in Jamrich Hall.
To sign up online go to www.join.bethematch.org/upperpeninsula15.