Bone marrow drive
On Sunday, May 20 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Prince of Peace Missionary Baptist Church will host a bone marrow drive to benefit The Gateway Chapter of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) and Be The Match Marrow Registry.
The drive is in honor of Dre’Naeria Westbrook, 18, who suffers from Natural Killer (NK) Leukemia. For Westbrook, along with thousands of others diagnosed with leukemia or lymphoma, a bone marrow transplant is her best chance to survive, but finding donors is often very difficult.
Be the Match Marrow Registry and LLS provide matches for patients whose relatives are unable to donate. According to a press release, “The likelihood that a doctor can find a match depends significantly on the patient’s race and ethnicity. Unfortunately for Westbrook, minorities are drastically underrepresented on the registry. Hispanics make up 10 percent of potential adult donors on the list, and African Americans, just 7 percent.”
Becoming a donor through one of these organizations is a simple as giving a cheek swab sample, and may end up saving someone’s life. Minority donors are very much encouraged to participate.
Participants should be between the ages of 18 and 60, be willing to donate to any patient in need, and meet the health guidelines, which can be reviewed by visiting www.BeTheMatch.org.