Centralia College is hosting a Be the Match bone marrow registry drive from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 2, in the Walton Science Center (corner of Washington Avenue and Centralia College Boulevard).
The drive is in honor of Ed Riley, a local writer, Centralia College graduate, and college employee recently diagnosed with a rare bone marrow disease that will require a bone marrow transplant.
“Ed’s illness has really affected the Centralia College family and we wanted to do everything we could to help,” said Dr. Robert Frost, Centralia College president. “We may not find a local match for Ed, but we could find a match for someone else desperate for a bone marrow transplant.”
“I am truly moved by the outpouring of support from the Centralia College community. The people are what make Centralia College so special, and why I, first as a student, and later as an employee fell in love with the college and the difference it makes in peoples lives every day,” said Riley, who hopes he is well enough to attend the drive and thank participants for registering as potential donors.
To join the registry, guests will be asked to provide a cheek swab, which will be used to match registry participants to patients.
Staff from the Puget Sound Blood Center’s Bone Marrow Program will be available to explain what it means to join the Be the Match registry, answer questions, accept financial contributions, and help guests through the process.
To register as a potential bone marrow donor, volunteers must be in good health and be between 18-44 years old. Research shows younger donors are best for patients because they provide the greatest chance for transplant success. Doctors request donors in the 18-44 age group 90 percent of the time.
Be The Match is operated by the National Marrow Donor Program® (NMDP), a nonprofit organization that matches patients with donors, educates health care professionals and conducts research so more lives can be saved. To learn more about the cure, visit BeTheMatch.org or call 1 (800) MARROW-2.