The marrow, found in the hollow of bones, is responsible for the production of blood cells. However, a person suffering leukaemia may have damaged bone marrow, causing abnormal blood cells. Matching bone marrow from a donor could be a life-saving gift.
Julie Young, a member of Curves Heathridge, said both Curve teams decided to do a bone marrow drive at the October 19 and 20 Relay for Life at Arena Joondalup after her daughter Brittany’s best friend Lauren urgently required stem cells to combat leukaemia.
‘We advertised as best we could to find a matching donor for Lauren, including putting posters up on bus shelters around the city,’ Julie said. ‘But it is very difficult to find your perfect match. Only one in three get a match from family members, and often the match is needed urgently. More donors are needed to register.
‘So to create greater awareness and encourage more bone marrow donors to go on the registry, we have arranged a donor’s clinic to be set up at the Relay for Life manned by nurses from the Australian Bone Marrow Donor Registry. The clinic will be from 1pm to 4pm on Saturday the 19th of October, and anyone between 18 and 45 can register.
‘All that is required is filling in a form and having a sample of blood taken to see if you are an eligible donor. The actual bone marrow donation is simple these days, being attached to a special machine, similar to a blood transfusion.’
Anyone who would like to take part in the Relay for Life donor clinic or who would like to know more about the bone marrow registry can email Julie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Curves Heathridge team captain Meg Considine said the October relay would be the fourth the team had attended, but a first for Clarkson.
‘The Joondalup Wanneroo Relay for Life is a wonderful event that shows how people can come together to support those suffering cancer and to raise money to help find a cure.’