Bone marrow donors needed

MARQUETTE – A bone marrow registry drive will take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday at Superior Dental Care, 1320 W. Ridge St., Marquette. Staff will be on hand to register potential donors and a team from Motions Fitness will be offering basic fitness screenings.

To be a possible donor a person must be between the ages of 18-54 and in good physical health. Donors will fill out a one-page form and get their cheek swabbed.

The chances of finding a match for a patient in need of a bone marrow transplant is very slim the odds are 1 in 540.

“Only 30 percent of people that need a bone marrow transplant can find a match within their family,” Dr. Carla Skaates said. “The 70 percent that can’t find a match go to this national registry; since that are so many types of bone marrow it is hard to find a match.”

In the past bone marrow donations required surgery, but now most are non-surgical using a process that is similar to donating plasma. Organizations like cab help donors with the financial strains of donating.

“This organization can help to pay for transportation to get to the place where you need to donate,” Skaates said. “If you make less than a certain amount of money per hour or if your employer doesn’t give you paid time off they will actually reimburse your lost wages.”

Donations would be appreciated to cover the $65 processing fee. Interested participants can call 228-9592 to make an appointment, but drop-ins are also welcome.

Sylvia Stevens can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 240.