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Feb 21, 2014 12:40 PM by Faye DeHoff

Become a marrow transplant donor

TUCSON - Every four minutes someone is diagnosed with a blood cancer like leukemia or other blood diseases like sickle cell anemia. For thousands, a marrow transplant is their only hope.

You can help by registering to become a marrow transplant donor this Wednesday, February 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Arizona Health Sciences Center Plaza. You can also help by donating funds to the Be The Match <http://bethematch.org/> registry program or by signing up to volunteer.

Representatives from the Be The Match program will be on hand, joined by University of Arizona College of Medicine - Tucson students, who are looking to sign up a diverse group of donors between the ages of 18 and 44.

Registration is free, fast and easy, consisting of a consent form and a cheek swab. You must be between the ages of 18-44, generally in good health, and willing to donate to anyone you match.

Marrow donation can be done in one of two ways:
· Peripheral blood stem cell donation, a non-surgical outpatient procedure
· Marrow Donation, a surgical, outpatient procedure using anesthesia. This video explains the process: <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VEoJwcdV3BQ&feature=share&list=PL9C5980663815EEC9>

In addition to registering marrow donors, Ellie Hutchison, a College of Medicine - Tucson Class of 2016 student, said the Be the Match team is looking to raise tax deductible donations to cover the cost to register new marrow donors.

"Though registration is free, it costs $100 to add each new donor to the registry, so we are also hoping people will stop by our table and donate funds to the effort. No amount is too small and the need is great," said Hutchison.

Hutchison is president of the UA College of Medicine - Tucson Hematology and Oncology Club. The club is hoping to make the Be The Match Registry Drive an annual event.

"The Be The Match organization provides a great services for families in need and as a service project, it greatly represents our interest as future health care providers and having the registration drive here, on the Arizona Health Sciences Campus, is a perfect fit," said Hutchison.

Arizona Health Sciences members who will be unable to register the day of the event are invited to register online by visiting: <http://join.marrow.org/UofA>.

For more information, please contact Ellie Hutchison, ehutchison@email.arizona.edu <mailto:ehutchison@email.arizona.edu>

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