Tricounty News

Register to be a hero on March 5

Get on the bone marrow registry list

Every four minutes someone in the United States is diagnosed with a blood cancer. Many will need a bone marrow transplant to survive. About 70 percent of people in need of a transplant do not have a matching donor in their family.

Register to become a donor on March 5 at:

• St. Cloud Hospital, 1406 Sixth Avenue North, (park in the North parking lot/ramp and enter at North lobby), 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Aspen Room in the Conference Center; and 

• St. Cloud Technical & Community College, 1540 Northway Drive, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., St. Cloud Technical & Community College Commons.

All you need to provide is a cheek swab sample. You will be contacted if you are a possible match for a patient. There is no cost to participate. Candidates should be between the ages of 18 and 44.

If you are a match, the physician will decide what way to donate is best for the patient.

You will be asked to donate in one of two ways:

• Peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) donation is requested by doctors 76 percent of the time. This is a non-surgical procedure. The donor’s blood is removed through a needle in their arm and passed through a machine that separates out the blood-forming cells. The remaining blood is returned to the donor through the other arm. Most PBSC donors are back to their normal routine in one to two days.

• Marrow donation is a surgical procedure requested by doctors 24 percent of the time.

While the donor is under anesthesia, the doctor uses needles to withdraw liquid marrow from the back of the pelvic bone. Marrow donors typically return to their usual routine in two to seven days.

The Granite City Rotary has made an effort to increase the national bone marrow registry through Be The MatchTM for more than 15 years. St. Cloud Technical & Community College has hosted a bone marrow drive for the last three years, and this year is collaborating with CentraCare Health System to reach a larger audience.

For more information, call (320) 654-6195, or visit BeTheMatch.org.