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Local Teen Inspires Bone Marrow Donor Drive on Apr. 23

Jefferson Community College (JCC) Campus Activities Board will sponsor a bone marrow donor drive and Be The Match registry drive on Wednesday, April 23 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in the Jules Center Commons (Building 6). The bone marrow donor drive consists of a simple cheek swab. Donors must be in good health, between the ages of 18 and 44 years old, and willing to donate to any patient in need. Donors with diverse racial or ethnic backgrounds are especially needed as patients in need of a transplant are most likely to match someone who shares their same race or ethnicity. 

JCC’s bone marrow donor drive will be held in honor of 14-year old Alyson Stiles of Watertown. Stiles, who is of American Indian heritage, was first diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia as a toddler. Her cancer went into remission twice, but she learned last fall it was back. Stiles is currently being treated at Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital in Syracuse. Of the 10 million people signed up for the Be The Match registry, only 1 percent are Native American or American Indian.                 

Be The Match, the world’s largest and most diverse listing of potential marrow donors and donated cord blood units, helps patients with leukemia, lymphoma and other diseases who need a marrow or umbilical cord blood transplant. Patients and their families can also turn to Be The Match for support and resources before, during and after transplant. Be The Match is operated by the National Marrow Donor Program, a nonprofit organization that matches patients with donors, educates health care professionals and conducts research. 

For more information about the bone marrow donor drive and Be The Match registry drive, call the JCC Student Activities office at 315-786-2431.