Every four minutes, someone is diagnosed with leukemia or another blood cancer. Thousands of these patients depend on a transplant of stem cells from a donor's marrow for their survival. As part of this year’s Unity Health System Rochester Flower City Challenge, you will have a unique chance to help.
Fleet Feet Sports is teaming up with local cancer survivors to recruit potential donors and raise funds for Be The Match®, a global leader in stem cell marrowtransplantation.
The locally organized “Be the Movement, Be the Match” marrow donor drive is set for 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday, April 25, at Fleet Feet Sports @ the Armory, 155 Culver Road, Suite 110, Rochester.
“Joining the Registry couldn’t be easier. All it takes is a cheek swab to help determine whether you’re a potential match for a patient,” said transplant survivor Al Bushnell of Webster, who with his wife, Kim Goppert, serves as lead organizer for Team Fleet Feet. “It literally takes only minutes to join the Registry, but provides hope for cancer patients around the world.”
The Bushnells understand the importance of the Registry from multiple perspectives. “I’m here today thanks to an anonymous donor found on the Registry,” Al Bushnell said. “But it’s become even more important in the last month because we lost a friend who had the same blood disease but couldn’t find a matching donor. We’re hoping that the day will come whenever anyone in need of a stem cell transplant might find their perfect donor and be given a chance at a full life.”
Potential donors between the ages of 18 to 44 who are in good health may sign up by filling out a brief health questionnaire and swabbing their cheek. If a registry member is found to be a match for a patient, then their stem cells are normally collected in much the same manner as a blood donation.
“Be the Movement, Be the Match” is also accepting financial contributions. It costs Be The Match about $100 to add a new member to the registry so a contribution of any amount is greatly appreciated. Make your check out to the “Be The Match Foundation” and either bring to the registry drive on April 25 or mail it to Be The Match Foundation, 510 Willowgate Drive, Webster, NY14580, or click here to donate online.
Be The Match is operated by the National Marrow Donor Program® (NMDP.) It manages the nation’s largest and most diverse registry, with more than 10.5 million marrow donors and 185,000 core blood units.