For Immediate Release Contact: Joyce Conciatori
Life-Saving Donor Drive Scheduled
Marrow, Blood Cell Transplants Provide Second Chance at Life For Thousands
[San Mateo, California] – Saint Matthew’s Catholic Church and School is pleased to announce its participation in the Be The Match, National Marrow Donor Recruitment Campaign. A community recruitment drive will be taking place in our local area. This drive will provide our local community members the opportunity to join others across the country who want to give the gift of life by joining the Be The Match, National Marrow Donor Program® (BTM) Registry.
The local drive will take place on Saturday, May 16 from 7:45 p.m. to 9:15 p.m, Sunday, May 17 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m, 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m, and 6:15 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. at St. Matthew’s Catholic Church, 910 South El Camino Real, San Mateo, CA 94403.
"Thousands of patients with life-threatening diseases need transplants and do not find a donor in their family. We are encouraging local residents to come to the drive to learn how they could help save a life," said Magda Silva, Drive Coordinator.
Bright and bubbly, 29 year old Noelle sparkles and shines. St. Matthew’s Alumna, a U.C. Davis graduate, she is an on-the-go professional enjoying family, friends and life. Noelle has recently been diagnosed with AML Leukemia. One of the treatments for AML is a marrow transplant. She is currently waiting for a donor. Her best chance to find a donor is to have as many people as possible join the marrow registry. A check swab and an application is all that is needed at this first step.
The characteristics that determine whether a patient and donor match are inherited, so the most likely match is with a sibling. However, 70 percent of patients will not find a suitable matching donor in their family.
These patients can turn to the volunteer marrow and blood cell adult donors and cord blood units listed on the BTM Registry – the largest source for all types of blood and marrow cells available for unrelated transplants.
Although it is possible for a patient to match a donor from any racial or ethnic group, the most likely match is someone from a similar background. “More people from diverse backgrounds are needed on the BTM Registry, so all patients in need can have a second chance at life,” said Joyce Conciatori, Drive volunteer organizer.
Each year, thousands of patients are diagnosed with life-threatening blood diseases such as leukemia. For a chance to survive, these patients need healthy marrow and blood cells to help their bodies make new, healthy marrow.
The first step to becoming a donor is to join the BTM Registry. Anyone age 18 - 60 who meets the health guidelines can join. Volunteers should be committed to helping any patient in need. To join, volunteers complete a short health questionnaire and sign a form stating that they understand what it means to be listed on the BTM Registry. Then, a small swab of cheek cells is taken to determine the tissue type to be matched against patients who need a donor. This information is added to the BTM Registry.
The BTM facilitates unrelated marrow and blood cell transplants as the hub for a long-standing collaborative Network of national and international leading medical facilities in blood and marrow transplantation. The BTM connects patients, doctors, donors and researchers to the resources they need to help more people live longer and healthier lives.
For more information about marrow and blood cell donation, contact Magda Silva of Be The Match at 510-301-9212 or 1-800-MARROW-2. Online information is available at www.bethematch.org