It's time to stand up to blood cancer. You can be a part of a bone marrow donor registration drive coming to Grand Junction.

IntelliTec College at 772 Horizon Drive in Grand Junction will be hosting a bone marrow donor registration drive on April 2, 2020, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. For this test, potential donors only need to do a saliva swab to provide enough information to get added to the bone marrow donor registry.

Did you know every three minutes an American is diagnosed with blood cancer? Were you aware only 30% of all patients are able to find a compatible bone marrow donor in their own family?

When I hear the words "donate bone marrow," horrible images come to mind. Fortunately, those images are completely false. Check out the video below.

To date, I've donated blood hundreds of times, but have never donated bone marrow. While donating at the blood center, I've had the chance to speak to others during stem cell donation. While a bit time consuming, the process appears to be not unlike a typical blood donation. Again, this is based solely on my observations while at the blood center.

Borrowing from the website icla.org, here are five reasons why you should consider being a donor:

  • IT’S A SIMPLE PROCESS WITH A BIG REWARD
  • YOU MIGHT KNOW SOMEONE WHO NEEDS A BONE MARROW TRANSPLANT
  • IN MEMORY OF SOMEONE WHO HAD CANCER (This hits home for me)
  • MOST PEOPLE ARE ASKED TO DONATE STEM CELLS, WHICH IS SIMILAR TO DONATING BLOOD
  • THERE ARE THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE YOU COULD MATCH

Years ago I used to volunteer as a guinea pig at IntelliTec. You could probably best describe me as a "stunt donor." They used me when training students on how to do a blood draw. In case you're wondering how I got the gig, my sister-in-law was a student there at the time. Every day at lunch I would head to the school and get three blood draws. Not exactly a day at the beach, but it was painless, and ultimately, a very rewarding experience.

There's no doubt in my mind you find this rewarding, too. The donor drive involves nothing more than a saliva swab. This event will accomplish two things simultaneously. First, you can get registered as a donor. Second, students will have the opportunity to become familiar with the testing process. It's a win-win. Please give serious thought to attending.

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