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Florissant Valley to host Devin Fort Memorial Bone Marrow Registry Drive

December 08, 2009

Florissant Valley will host the Devin Fort Memorial Bone Marrow Registry Drive from 10 a.m-2 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 10 in the Student Center Multipurpose Room on the Florissant Valley campus, 3400 Pershall Road.

The significance of this bone marrow drive is to increase the chances of saving someone’s life. Devin Bryce Fort lost his life after being diagnosed with aplastic anemia and not being able to find a match. Many of the patients who are in need of a bone marrow transplant are not able to find a match within their family.

The chances for finding a match for minorities such as African Americans, Hispanics, American Indians, Alaskan natives and Asian & Pacific Islanders are extremely low. African Americans have a very small registry and are especially urged to become added.

In order to be added to the registry you have to be between the ages of 18 and 60, willing to donate to any patient in need and you must meet the health requirements. At the Bone Marrow Drive, you will swab the upper left, upper right, lower left and lower right of the inside of your cheek and if you’re a match you will be contacted.

One of the main reasons why many minorities fail to become added to the registry is because of fear of the surgery. There are now two ways of donating your bone marrow and they are peripheral blood stem cell donation and surgical marrow extraction. Peripheral blood stem cell is the most commonly used procedure and it involves removing blood from arm with a needle and passing it through a machine which separates out the blood-forming cells. The blood that is not used will be returned to the donor through the other arm. The surgical marrow extraction is not used as much, but it includes the donor being under general anesthesia and needles are used to obtain liquid marrow from the pelvic bone area. After donating, most marrow donors are back to feeling like themselves in one to seven days.

For more information about the Devin Fort Memorial Bone Marrow Registry Drive, contact Diane Foster at 314-513-4086 or Denise Moseley at
314-773-4734 or dmoseley@nmndp.org.