Brookings Area Be the Match will hold a donor drive on Saturday, Dec. 8 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Larson Ice Arena during the Brookings Ice Skating Association’s (BISA) pee wee hockey tournament. The event is sponsored by Brookings Health System and BISA. All community members are invited to donate.
Be the Match is the National Marrow Donor Program’s largest listing of potential marrow donors for those patients in need of bone marrow and umbilical cord blood transplants. Donors are asked to simply give a swab of cheek cells to join the other 9 million members on the registry.
“There are thousands of people who have blood cancers that can be cured with peripheral blood stem cells (PBSC) or bone marrow transplants,” said Certified Nurse Practitioner Joanie Holm, organizer of Brookings Area Be the Match. “The more people on the registry, the higher the likelihood of finding a match for the ill patient, even those in our own community.”
The initial cheek cells are processed by Be the Match and compared with people in need of a transplant throughout the world. If the initial cheek swab produces a six-point match of DNA markers, donors are asked for further testing to see how close they are for a 10-point DNA marker match.
Donors must be between the ages of 18 to 44, in generally good health, and be willing to donate to anyone in need. At the time of donation, donors will need to complete a registration form with contact information, health information and a signed agreement to join the Be the Match registry. Donors should bring personal identification with them, such as a driver’s license or passport, and contact information for two family members or friends they do not live with who would know how to contact them in the future.
Individuals who do not meet the donor requirements but would still like help the registry may give a financial contribution, which will also be accepted at the donor drive.
More information on the registry and the bone marrow process can be found on www.bethematch.org. For questions regarding the Saturday, Dec. 8 donor drive, please contact Joanie Holm at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Brookings Health System
Brookings Health System, located in Brookings, South Dakota, includes a 49-bed hospital, the 79-bed Brookview Manor nursing home, and Brookhaven Estates apartments. It is a non-profit, city-owned facility that offers the community a full range of inpatient, outpatient, and extended care services. The emergency room is staffed 24 hours a day and provides around the clock medical-nursing care for patient needs ranging from minor injuries to life threatening crises. For more information about the services offered at Brookings Health System, please call (605) 696-9000 or visit us on the Web at brookingshealth.org.