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Join Us for the Marrow Donor Registry Drive Feb. 20 & 21

By Holly Miller, Health and Wellness
February 12, 2015

On Friday, February 20 and Saturday, February 21, 2015, the City of Boise and St. Luke’s are teaming up with Be The Match® to help save the lives of patients battling leukemia, lymphoma and other blood and marrow diseases.

Every 4 minutes, someone new is diagnosed with a blood cancer like leukemia or lymphoma, and every 10 minutes, someone dies from the disease. For over 12,000 patients every year, the only hope of survival is found in a bone marrow or stem cell transplant, and 70% of patients do not have a matched donor in their family. They turn to the Be The Match Registry® in hopes of finding a matched unrelated donor to save their life.

The City and St. Luke’s are hosting a two-day Marrow Donor Registry Drive from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on February 20 and 21, 2015. The drive will be held on the St. Luke’s Boise campus, South Tower Building, 100 E. Idaho Street, 5th Floor lobby. There is no cost to join the registry.

Be The Match® will be distributing information about marrow and stem cell donation, receiving financial contributions, and adding potential donors to the Be The Match Registry®. The City and St. Luke’s encourage all local community members between 18 and 44 years of age to join the Be The Match Registry®, increasing the likelihood that every patient needing a transplant will be able to find the donor they need. Currently, only 35% of Registry members are of diverse ancestry, meaning that they have a much lower likelihood of finding a donor. Because patients are most likely to find a matched donor in someone who shares their ancestry, new Registry members from all minority racial and ethnic communities are especially needed.

Registration is simple, and involves completing a brief health history form and performing a few quick cheek swabs. To join the Registry at this event, a person must be between the ages of 18 and 44, meet the health guidelines and be willing to donate to any patient in need. To register, participants will need to bring their driver’s license or passport. Individuals will remain a member of the registry until their 61st birthday. If one is called upon as a match, about 75% of transplants are currently done through peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) donation – no surgery needed.

Businesses and individuals are also encouraged to make a financial contribution to Be The Match®. In addition to hosting the registry event, St. Luke’s will contribute $5,000, an amount that will fully underwrite the cost of processing paperwork and lab work for 50 new Be the Match Registry members. Every $100 raised helps add another potential donor to the Registry, and helps Be The Match® provide much-needed support to transplant recipients and their donors. The City of Boise and St. Luke’s hope to reach their goal of recruiting 500 donors for the Be The Match® Registry.

More information: www.BeTheMatchFoundation.org/goto/StLukesIdaho , www.BeTheMatch.org, (800) MARROW-2.

About Be The Match®

For people with life-threatening blood cancers—like leukemia and lymphoma—or other blood and marrow diseases, a cure exists through marrow or stem cell transplant. About 70% of patients needing a transplant do not have a matching donor in their family, and turn to the Be The Match Registry®. Be The Match® connects those patients with their matched donor to potentially save their life. People can contribute to the cure by becoming a member of the Be The Match Registry®, a financial contributor or a volunteer. Be The Match® provides patients and their families with one-on-one support, education and guidance before, during and after transplant. Be The Match® is operated by the National Marrow Donor Program® (NMDP), a nonprofit organization that matches patients with donors, educates health care professionals and conducts research so more lives can be saved.

About the City of Boise

The City of Boise aspires to be the most livable city in the country through the creation of lasting environments, the cultivation of innovative enterprises and the building of vibrant communities. We recognize, protect and improve the health and sustainability of all our activities, our connections to one another and our natural resources. We work with individuals, non-profits and businesses to encourage creativity and collaboration that will promote economic prosperity and improve lives. We engage residents and organizations to spark new connections, inspire exploration and strengthen Boise’s rich, community-minded spirit.

About St. Luke’s

For more than 100 years, St. Luke’s has been committed to serving the needs of a growing region. Founded in 1902, St. Luke’s is now Idaho’s largest healthcare provider. St. Luke’s is known for its centers of excellence in cancer, heart, and women and children’s care, and is home to St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital, the only children’s hospital in Idaho. Known for its clinical excellence, St. Luke’s is nationally recognized for quality and patient safety.

Contacts:

John Philpott, Community Engagement Representative Be The Match® operated by the National Marrow Donor Program® (NMDP) Email: John.Philpott@nmdp.org

Holly Miller, Communications Coordinator St. Luke’s Email: millerh@slhs.org


About The Author

Holly Miller works in the Communications and Marketing department at St. Luke's.