Bone marrow donors wanted in Snyderville | ParkRecord.com

Bone marrow donors wanted in Snyderville

Patrick Parkinson, Of the Record staff

Because of the difficulties her brother-in-law in Kentucky has encountered searching for a donor with bone marrow that matches his, Karen Murray began pushing for people in Park City to sign their names to the National Bone Marrow Registry.

"He does not have a match and a bone marrow transplant is his only hope for a cure," said Murray, who lives in the Snyderville Basin. "Without that, he will die."

Responsible for delivering the body red blood cells one of the most common diseases suffered by those awaiting bone-marrow transplants is leukemia, she said, adding that the disease her brother-in-law has, mylodisplastic anemia, causes bone marrow to quit manufacturing the cells.

With about 3,000 Americans awaiting bone-marrow transplants, potential donors on Sunday can become part of the National Bone Marrow Registry by signing up during a drive planned at Park City Community Church from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

About 6 million potential donors are registered worldwide.

"Anybody can do this and you’re not signing your life away to be a donor right at this minute," Murray said. "They’ll ask your permission and it’s not like you sign up today and you’re legally bound to donate when they call you."

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With grants from the Park City Sunrise Rotary Club and BD Medical, more than 105 people can register Sunday, she added.

"I got way more money than I ever dreamed I would get," Murray said. "I’ve gotten $2,800 plus."

To register, potential donors must only have their cheeks swabbed.

"It’s a Q-tip that you swab inside your cheek," she said.

Those who have suffered from most types of cancer or at risk for contracting HIV do not qualify as donors, according to Murray.

"They will be asked some health questions," she said, adding that some asthma sufferers may not be allowed to register. "There are some health conditions that cause people not to be eligible donors."

Potential donors must be between 18 and 60 years old. Those not eligible to give blood because of recent travel can still become part of the registry.

When donors are matched to patients, most bone marrow is obtained intravenously through a series of injections and the harvesting of stem cells, she said.

"You go through that procedure, you go home and you’ve saved somebody’s life," Murray said.

But a small number of donors must have liquid marrow taken from their pelvis, she said, explaining, "They really don’t do that much anymore."

Murray insists on Sunday she’ll sign up for the registry.

"I hope people will just come right over after services," she said, adding that registration is free and more information is available at http://www.marrow.org.