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Marrow Donor Registration Oct. 21 at the University of Wyoming


October 14, 2010 — A marrow donor registration will be held Thursday, Oct. 21, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. in the University of Wyoming Senate Chambers, second floor of the Wyoming Union.

Individuals who wish to join the pool of potential stem cell and bone marrow donors can do so at this event by joining the "Be the Match Registry." This registry exists for patients with diseases, such as leukemia, who are in need of a bone marrow or stem cell transplant.

"You will not be donating marrow at the donor registration, but rather joining the registry of potential donors," says Gwen Van Baalen, a UW music senior from Laramie. "Joining the registry provides potential donors with the opportunity to save a life. If you are a match, you will be contacted by the ‘Be the Match Registry.'"

To be eligible to join, potential donors must be between the ages of 18-60 and in general good health. A consent form and health questionnaire will be completed at the time of registration, followed by a cheek swab to collect cells for initial tissue typing.

With the support of the Office of the President, ASUW and several private donors, students can join at no cost. Members of the Laramie community and UW employees are also encouraged to participate.

Van Baalen and the Alpha Epsilon Delta student organization are organizing the event with the Colorado Marrow Donor Program, which will conduct the registration.

"Each year, thousands of people are diagnosed with diseases like leukemia and lymphoma for which a stem cell or marrow transplant could be the only cure," Bonfils Blood Center posts on its Web site. "About 70 percent of these people are unable to find a donor match within their family and must search for an unrelated donor on the ‘Be the Match Registry.' They have a greater chance of finding a match in a donor from the same ethnic background. As a marrow donor, you could be the one to provide a unique match and hope for patients in need and their families."

For more information, e-mail Van Baalen at gvanbaal@uwyo.edu or Elizabeth Gerstner at egerstne@uwyo.edu.

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