More African-American bone marrow donors being sought

Special to the Banner
Posted 5/25/16

Pastor Ed Robinson of Pleasant Grove Baptist Church, Pastor Ron Hill of Church of God Sanctified, along with the Blood Assurance and Be The Match organizations, will raise awareness about the need …

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More African-American bone marrow donors being sought

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Pastor Ed Robinson of Pleasant Grove Baptist Church, Pastor Ron Hill of Church of God Sanctified, along with the Blood Assurance and Be The Match organizations, will raise awareness about the need for more African-American bone marrow donors, in hopes of finding matching donors for blood cancer patients.

What if there was a way you could heal someone?

There is a way, and that way is “you,” according to the campaign partners.

Be The Match Registry is dedicated to saving lives. Donating marrow can give someone a future — a chance of overcoming leukemia or other life-threatening diseases.

More African-American registry members are needed now, because ancestry is important in matching patients to donors, and African-American patients have the lowest odds of finding a match compared to all other populations. African-Americans have the most diverse tissue types, which makes the matching process more challenging.

Quick Facts:

— Every three minutes someone is diagnosed with a blood cancer,

— Seventy percent of patients do not have a fully matched donor in their family, and

— Patients depend on Be The Match Registry to find a match.

If you are between the ages of 18 and 44, and in good health, you can take that first step at the Blood Assurance location, 201 Keith St. S.W., Suite 19, in the Village Green Town Center during a pre-Memorial Day blood and marrow drive through Saturday.

To join the marrow registry, all you need to do is complete a registration form and have your cheek swabbed to see if you could be a match. All new registry members will receive a Fandango movie voucher or a T-shirt.

For more information about the Be The Match Marrow Registry, call Rhonda Moore 423-827-7167 or visit www.BloodAssurance.org/bonemarrow.

To be eligible to donate blood, you must be at least 17 years old (16 years old with parental consent), weigh 110 pounds or more and be in good health.

Donors are asked to drink plenty of fluids — avoiding caffeine — and eat a meal that is rich in protein prior to donating.

For more information on Blood Assurance, donating blood or hosting a blood drive, please visit www.bloodassurance.org or call 1-800-962-0628.

Blood Assurance is a nonprofit, full-service regional blood center serving 51 counties and more than 75 health care facilities in Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina and Virginia.

Over 540 volunteer blood donors are needed every day in order to adequately supply these hospitals. Blood Assurance is based in Chattanooga and maintains a blood donation center in Cleveland.

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