“Swab to Save a Life” will be held at the Assyrian American Civic Club of Turlock to help combat blood cancer on Jan. 15 from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m to collect registration forms and DNA swabs to gain potential bone marrow donors for the Delete Blood Cancer DKMS organization.
To become a bone marrow donor, you must be between the ages of 18 and 55, in generally good health, weigh at least 110 pounds and have a maximum body mass index of 40; you must be willing to donate to any patient in need. To register, you must complete a form with your information and give a swab from the inside of your cheek to collect cells for HLA tissue typing.
If you register, someone from the Delete Blood Cancer could potentially contact you at any time to let you know that you are a match for a patient in need. Donations are collected in one of two ways as selected by the patient’s doctor.
Peripheral blood stem cell donations are collected during an outpatient procedure where blood is drain from one arm into a machine to collect stem cells, and then remaining blood is returned into the other arm. Marrow donation is collected from the backside of the pelvic bone using a special syringe; general anesthesia is given so the donor does not experience pain.
Delete Blood Cancer DKMS began with one family’s search for a bone marrow donor in 1990, Peter Harf and his daughters went door-to-door in an effort to find a donor match for his wife and their mother, Mechtild Harf.
They registered 68,000 donors in one year, and though Mechtild lost her battle, the family began a bone marrow donor center, DKMS, that has grown to be the largest in the world with branches in the the United States, Germany, Poland, Spain and the United Kingdom.
The organization has registered over 4.5 million donors, helping in excess of 40,000 patients.
The event will be coordinated by Donald Babadalir, former Turlock City Council candidate. Volunteers are needed to assist at the event, and individuals who speak a second language are encouraged to participate.