Community Healthcare System to Host Bone Marrow Donor Drive

Written by Chronicle Staff. Posted in Uncategorized

Published on August 24, 2016 with No Comments

The hospitals of Community Healthcare System in conjunction with Delete Blood Cancer DKMS are raising awareness about the need for lifesaving bone marrow donors. The organizations are partnering to host two swab drives in August at Community Hospital in Munster and St. Mary Medical Center in Hobart. The drives match potential bone marrow donors with the Delete Blood Cancer DKMS registry, and are open to the public.

The drives will be held:

  • Friday, August 26, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Cafeteria Conference Room 3 at Community Hospital, 901 MacArthur Blvd., in Munster
  • Monday, August 29, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Conference Room 3 at St. Mary Medical Center, 1500 S. Lake Park Ave., in Hobart.

Every three minutes someone in the United States is diagnosed with blood cancer, diseases of the blood, bone marrow or lymph nodes that damages the production and function of normal blood cells, according to Delete Blood Cancer DKMS. A bone marrow transplant is the best option for survival, but a lack of registered donors means 70 percent of blood cancer patients will not receive this lifesaving treatment.

To be eligible to register, a donor must be:

  • Between the ages of 18 and 55.
  • In good health.
  • Willing to donate to any patient.
  • Not already registered.
  • Permanently living in the U.S.
  • At least 4’10” and 110 lbs.

The registry process takes approximately 10 to 15 minutes to fill out a form, review eligibility and health guidelines and swab the inside of the cheek. Swabbing helps to determine a person’s Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) type. HLA are protein markers on cells that are used in matching donors with patients. These protein markers are inherited. Prospective donors will be listed on the registry by their HLA type and can be called in as soon as one month later to follow up on a match or may not be called at all.

Interested parties who cannot make it to the drives are encouraged to register online at For more information, call 219-852-6495 or 219-703-CARE (2273).

Delete Blood Cancer DKMS is an international, non-profit organization dedicated to the fight against blood cancer and blood disorders. The organization has registered more than 6 million potential donors and facilitated more than 53,000 transplants around the world.

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