Marrow Registry Seeks Help for New Jersey Girl With Blood Cancer

Blood Drive and Bone Marrow Registry on Monday, April 23, at 27th Street Fire House

Mayor Jimmy Davis announced that there will be a community blood drive on Monday, April 23, from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., at the City Hall Fire House, at 27th Street and Avenue C. The drive is sponsored by the Bayonne Fire Department.  This blood drive is being held in conjunction with Community Blood Services, which provides blood and blood products to hospitals and medical centers in New Jersey and New York.

The blood drive will also feature a bone marrow registry drive in conjunction with Be the Match.  By registering with Be the Match, a potential donor could be the cure for a person who has a blood cancer. Every three minutes, someone is diagnosed with a blood cancer. Drive organizers hope that Bayonne residents will participate in the registry, in order to help Veronica, a seven-year-old resident of West Orange.  She has a blood cancer, and might be cured with the help of a matching donor.  Drive organizers would like to encourage people from diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds to join the bone marrow registry, because people usually find a match from someone with a similar ethnic background.  Veronica is a Peruvian-American, so Peruvian Americans, other South Americans, and Hispanics in general are urged to join the marrow registry.  About 70% of matches come from non-family members.  There is only about a 30% chance for a match with a family member.  A marrow match could be found with anyone.

Blood donors will have the option to be screened for a bone marrow match. Blood type does not matter for the marrow registry. A Q-tip is used to swab the cheeks to see whether antigens match those of a patient. Bone marrow registry participants must be at least 18 years old and not more than 44, in order to register in person.  Anyone who is 45 to 61 years of age would need to pay a registration fee and register online for the marrow registry.  The age policy for the marrow registry is due to the fact that 90% of those who are called for a marrow match are in the younger age category.  Anyone who is a match for someone in need will be contacted. More information is available at bethematch.org.  People who can’t be onsite but would like to join the marrow registry can go to  https://join.bethematch.org/4veronica.

The need for blood donation is great.  An automobile accident victim may need up to 50 units of red blood cells.  A cancer patient may require up to eight units of platelets per week.  An organ transplant recipient may need up to 40 units of red blood cells, 30 units of platelets, and 25 units of plasma.

Blood donors should be 17 to 75 years old.  However, sixteen-year-olds may donate blood in New Jersey with a parental consent form provided by Community Blood Services, and they must provide proof of age.  Donors must weigh at least 110 pounds.  Donors over age 75 must present a signed document from their medical doctor stating that they can give blood. Medications taken frequently by healthy individuals, such as aspirin, thyroid, diabetic, and blood pressure medications, are not reasons for deferral.  All medications will be evaluated with the blood center staff prior to donating.  Donors must show a form of identification such as a driver’s license.  Donors must eat a good meal and drink plenty of fluids before donating. All blood donors will receive complimentary cholesterol and glucose screenings.

For medical information or additional questions about blood donation, please call Community Blood Services at 201-444-3900.