‘Swabbing Drive’ to benefit Gift of Life Marrow Registry

Posted 11/8/22

Gift of Life Marrow Registry was established in 1991. The organization is dedicated to saving lives by facilitating blood stem cell and bone marrow transplants for patients with leukemia, lymphoma, …

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‘Swabbing Drive’ to benefit Gift of Life Marrow Registry

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Gift of Life Marrow Registry was established in 1991. The organization is dedicated to saving lives by facilitating blood stem cell and bone marrow transplants for patients with leukemia, lymphoma, and other blood-related diseases. The registry houses its own state-of-the-art stem cell collection center, biobank, and laboratory.

In 2001, Gift of Life became the first registry in the world to utilize bloodless testing at donor recruitment drives, ultimately making the cheek swab the global standard. Gift of Life also offers online donor recruitment via its website. A swab kit will be delivered by visiting www.giftoflife.org.

However, to bring to the forefront locally, the need for individuals to make the commitment to sign up to be donors, a “swabbing drive” has been scheduled on Wednesday, November 16, in the Grand Street lobby of Kaplan Hall, SUNY Orange. Kaplan Hall is located at 74 Grand St with the college garage entrance around the corner at 73 First St, Newburgh.

From 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., a team of dedicated Hudson Valley volunteers will be at the “swabbing drive” table to explain the simple cotton swabbing procedure, then receive the swabs, and finally sign those individuals into the Gift of Life Marrow Registry.

Gift of Life is urgently seeking a matching blood stem cell donor for Dereck Boles, a 26-year-old father and businessman who is battling leukemia and is in urgent need of a lifesaving transplant. Dereck, a former University of Arizona defensive tackle, has a loving family, and is not only the father of a little girl, but he has a baby boy on the way.

Individuals 18 to 35-years-old who are in good health (the ideal demographic for successful transplants) are urged to join the registry because every donor has the potential of saving someone’s life if a match connects to a patient. Come and give patients in need the possibility of saving their lives.

Even though more than 33 million people are registered donors from dozens of countries, many blood cancer patients lose their lives because no matching stem cell or marrow donor is found in the worldwide registry. The reason matches are so difficult to find for these patients is simple: their genetic heritage is underrepresented in the registry, which means people sharing a similar lineage or ethnicity have not joined the registry in sufficient numbers. The specifics hold the answer: 75% of Blacks, 75% of multi-racial individuals, 55% of Latinos and Hispanics, and 60% of Asian Americans do not have perfectly matched donors in the worldwide registry.

For further information contact Gift of Life Community Volunteer Gail Oliver at (845) 542-5414 or gailao777@aol.com.

For Kaplan Hall “swabbing drive” information, contact cultural@sunyorange.edu.

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