Paducah Donor Days adds bone marrow registry

There’s an emergency call from American Red Cross for blood, making your donation even more important. A shortage in blood donations this year is resulting in 39,000 fewer donations than expected.

You can donate at the 33rd annual Paducah Donor Days, which runs from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday.  All donors will receive a Donor Days T-shirt and pizza from Pizza Inn.

All you need to bring is your ID or donor card. Donor Days is adding something new this year: a bone marrow registry drive that could help save someone’s life here at home or across the world.

Anthony Tinin with the American Red Cross says the odds are very low for someone to find a personal match.

“That’s why it’s so important to have more and more people to get on the registry, because there could be someone in California or there could be someone even in another country that can be looking for that bone marrow match, just like the people in our area oftentimes are matched with people in other parts of the country or other parts of the world,” Tinin said.

It only requires an oral swab to get on the registry for life. Then you can be lined up with potential patients in the future. If you are a match for someone, new technology has made the process a lot less invasive than it used to be. The marrow drawn like blood rather than taken surgically.

Signing up can help people find a match, like Mason Fuller who lives in Salem, Kentucky. He has an autoimmune disease that can only be cured by a marrow match. Its been about two years, but he’s hopeful that as more people register he’ll find a match soon.

Many people waiting for bone marrow matches require blood transfusions, which your donations can help supply. So, even if you’re not a match, you can still help while they wait by donating blood.

You can find a blood drive near you and sign up by going to Redcrossblood.org or downloading the Blood Donor App.

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