Bone Marrow Donor Drives Set for Feb. 28, March 1
West Burlington, Iowa – Local bone marrow donor registration drives are scheduled in Iowa and Illinois. The first will be from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 28, in the Mercy Plaza lobby on Great River Health Systems’ campus, 1225 S. Gear Ave., West Burlington. The second drive will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, March 1, at West Central Elementary School, Biggsville, Ill.
Registering is as easy as filling out a form and swabbing the inside of the cheeks to collect cells for tissue typing. Because research shows that young donors provide the greatest chance for transplant success, people who are 18 to 44 years old may register at the drive.
The drive will be conducted by the University of Iowa Marrow Donor Program. Potential donors will join Be The Match, the largest and most diverse marrow registry in the world, which matches unrelated donors to help save the lives of people with leukemia, lymphoma, sickle cell anemia and other life-threatening diseases.
About one in 40 people on the donor registry is called for additional testing, and about one in 540 goes on to donate.
Transplants from people on the Be The Match registry replace unhealthy blood-forming cells with healthy ones. There are two ways adults can donate, depending on the physician’s choice. In about 75 percent of cases, peripheral blood stem cells are removed in a procedure similar to donating platelets or plasma. In about 25 percent of cases, bone marrow is removed while donors receive regional or general anesthesia. Both are outpatient procedures.
Umbilical cord blood is used in some transplants.
For more information, visit www.BeTheMatch.org or call the University of Iowa Marrow Donor Program at 319-356-3337.