WGXA's Healthy Living: Local News
Healthy Living: Be a Bone Marrow Donor
Story Updated: Jan 26, 2012
Every day, bone marrow donors provide hope to thousands of patients searching for a donor match.
In this Healthy Living, I will show you just how easy it is to register to be the match that could save one person's life.
NewsCentral's Michelle Quesada hopes that a few swabs of your cheek could help save her sister Elizabeth's life.
"My sister was diagnosed in 2010 with AML (Acute myeloid leukemia) and ALL (Acute lymphoblastic leukemia) leukemia. When I started doing tests for her to find a match, I found out I wasn't. But I still wanted to register to be a donor. If I wasn't a match, I could still be a match for someone else out there."
Michelle and thousands of other families are hoping and praying for a bone marrow match.
Bone marrow generates blood cells and is used to transplant into patients battling leukemia, lymphoma or other blood cancers.
"We are going through it right now. My family is a Hispanic family and there are not that many hispanics in the registry. so we have had such a tough time trying to find a match for her. We have been encouraging Hispanics to go out and register, the same way African Americans should, the same way Haitians should because you never know when it could be your loved one. "
Jay's Hope Foundation is leading the efforts for bone marrow registration in in central Georgia, inspired by the memory of Chris Johnson, a warner robins teen who bravely battled leukemia while waiting for a bone marrow transplant.
Cindy Gaskins: "We are the only walk in bone marrow testing center in the state of Georgia and it is very simple. the hardest part is the paperwork and it is a simple swab of the cheek, you go through health questions, to make sure you are a good candidate to make sure it is safe for you. "
The registration process is easy and takes just a few moments to pay it forward. The need is especially critical for minority donors to register.
They think that it is painful. It is a lot like donating your blood. It takes a few minutes of your time. You swab your cheeks in four corners of your mouth and you are a registered donor for life
If you would like to walk in and register to be a bone marrow donor, you can visit the Jay's Hope Foundation office at 1157-B Forsyth Street in Macon, Georgia 31201.
You may also request a free kit in the mail. For more information on the National Marrow Donor program, visit marrow.org/ .
To visit Michelle and Elizabeth Quesada's Donate Marrow Page, visit www.facebook.com/donateMarrow