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Bone Marrow Donor Drive Saturday

Photo,Cindy Campbell,Townsquare

Eastern Maine Medical Center will be looking for folks interested in being put on the National Bone Marrow Donor list. One quick swab of your cheek could put you in a position to save a life in the future!

EMMC’s Challenge for a Cure is going on in Brewer on Saturday, so there will be plenty of action around town, centered at the Lafayette Cancer Center. And that’s where you’ll go to find out if you’re eligible to have your name and DNA added to the national list. You don’t have to be in the Challenge to take part in the bone marrow drive. But you should be aware that, before noon, there will be no parking at the Cancer Center. Other parking lots in the Wilson Street area will be clearly marked and shuttle buses will be running.

Brenda Clements, manager of nursing services at Cancer Care says the theme this year is a swab party. She says the team has a lot of energy and makes it a fun experience. Plus, you’ll get a cheek swab! Clements says it’s quick, free, and painless to join, and you’ll feel great about taking part.

Adults between the ages of 18 and 55 are eligible. Clements told me they have a special focus this year on males between 18 and 24 years old, but everyone is welcome and encouraged to sign up.

Why is it important to be put on the national registry? Because only about four out of every ten people who need a transplant receive one since it’s often hard to find an eligible and viable donor. So, obviously, the more people on the registry, the better the chances of finding that perfect match! Clements says it’s rare for someone who joins the registry to become a match but, by joining, you can help improve the odds and possibly save a life!

This year’s bone marrow donor drive will be held form 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Lafayette Family Cancer Center on the Whiting Hill Road in Brewer. No appointment is necessary. Just stop in and get swabbed! For more information, log onto the website for EMMC.

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