Every 4 minutes someone is diagnosed with a blood cancer like leukemia. Yet 70% of patients needing a marrow transplant do not have a matching donor in their family. And minorities are severely under-represented on the National Registry.
In honor of Steve's "birthday" into heaven, we are hosting the second "Steve Bower Memorial Bone Marrow Drive" at the College of Lake County in Grayslake, IL. 38% of the student population is minority and 80% of the student body is between the ages of 18-34. These demographics make CLC an ideal place to host a bone marrow drive. Last year, we hosted a 1-day drive at the main campus. This year, we are hosting a 3-day event: one day at each campus. Last year, we had over 200 people sign up on the registry, and despite low odds, we had "a match" from CLC within weeks! It turns out, that CLC student was the only person who could donate to a 61-year female with AML leukemia!
These special days will be on February 10th-Lakehore Campus, Waukegan; February 11th- Grayslake; and February 12th-Southlake, Vernon Hills. I hope you will consider joining the registry. All you have to do is fill out a form and do a cheek swab- no needles involved! *If you would like to join online, please use the code "BOWER".* You have to be between 18-44 years of age, in general good health, and willing to donate to a stranger in need. If you are unable to register, I hope you will consider encouraging others to register and consider donating to the Steve Bower Bone Marrow Drive financially. It costs Be The Match $100 to process each potential donor. Although we are hoping to sign up far more than 10 donors, we are hoping to raise at least $1,000 to help mitigate some of the costs Be The Match will incur on behalf of the Steve Bower Memorial Drive. http://www.bethematchfoundation.org/goto/ericstevenbower
Finally, if you're in the area, even if you are unable to join the registry, please feel free to come hang out with us at CLC. http://www.clcillinois.edu/ The drives will run from 9:30-2:30 at Lakeshore and Southlake and 9:30-4pm at Grayslake. We will have evening hours on Tuesday at Lakeshore from 6:30-8:30pm. If you cannot make it during this time, but would like to join the registry, please just let me know and I can help get you signed up anytime during the first three weeks of February. Or see the CLC Health Center by February 18th. Thank you to CLC and to the Communication Department for supporting the drive!
Thank you for your support! Although we continue to miss my dad every day, I'm sure he'd be pleased if we could do our small part to bolster the National Registry so one day there won't be patients like his floor-mate who are left waiting for strangers like us to join the registry. Every day there are people diagnosed with leukemia, lymphoma, sickle-cell anemia, and other life-threatening illnesses who are counting on us to help save their lives. Please consider joining the registry; you very well could Be The Match!
Kathryn Bower Petty & family