Healthy Living: Be a Bone Marrow Donor

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By NewsCentral Staff

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Updated: Mon, 06 May 2013 02:05:09 EST

  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.

Michelle Quesada:

     "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

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