Cheek swabs may help save lives - New York News

Cheek swabs may help save lives

Updated:
By Ravell Call, Deseret News. Debbie Nelson swabs her cheek to register for a bone marrow match as Granger Medical Clinic hosts a bone marrow donor registry drive in West Valley City, Tuesday, March 11, 2014. By Ravell Call, Deseret News. Debbie Nelson swabs her cheek to register for a bone marrow match as Granger Medical Clinic hosts a bone marrow donor registry drive in West Valley City, Tuesday, March 11, 2014.

By: Whitney Evans, Deseret News

Heroes sometimes come from unlikely places.

Ethan VanLeuven's hero came in the form of his 21-month-old brother Blake.

Ethan, 4, has been a cancer patient for most of his life. His initial diagnosis of acute lymphoblastic leukemia came in September of 2011. The cancer that was in remission returned in June. His family soon found out that he would need a bone marrow transplant to survive.

In January, Ethan received that transplant from his brother. Siblings have a 25 percent chance of generating a successful bone marrow match.

On Tuesday, Granger Medical Clinic, Be the Match and the American Childhood Cancer Organization held a bone marrow donor drive to help gather potential donors for those who do not find a donor match within their family. The sample collection process is quick, free and may be a lifesaver.

"Really, it's their chance to be a hero. It's their chance to save someone's life," said Jennifer VanLeuven, the boys' mother.

About 20,000 people in the United States needed a bone marrow or umbilical cord transplant in 2011, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Of these, only seven out of 10 patients find a match within their families.

To gather the sample, volunteers at the Granger clinic used cotton swabs to collect samples of cheek cells from potential donors. The samples were sent on for testing and the potential donors' name put on an international registry.

"Very simple. Very simple. I'm done," Erin Lewis said, in what she estimated was about five minutes total at the clinic drive.

Forty-nine people were added to the registry Tuesday before volunteers ran out of supplies. Additional donors were sent to another bone marrow drive a few cities away.

The current registry has 9 million members.

Bone marrow transplants help those who are diagnosed with blood cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma.

Be the Match seeks volunteers between ages 18 and 44 to donate. Their names will remain on the registry until they are 61.

Donors have a 1 in 540 chance of donating bone marrow or peripheral blood stem cells to a patient. Most donors - 76 percent - give through a process similar to platelet donation, according to Trina Brajkovich, National Marrow Donor Project community engagement representative.

The other 24 percent of the time, marrow is taken out of the hip while a patient is under general anesthesia.

Those who wish to donate can register online at bethematch.org. They will be sent a kit in which they can retrieve samples from their own cheek and mail the samples in. Materials and postage are free. They will be contacted if they are a positive match.


Original Post

Copyright 2013 Deseret Digital Media, Inc.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • SummerStage: you still have time to catch a show

    SummerStage: you still have time to catch a show

    Monday, July 28 2014 10:22 PM EDT2014-07-29 02:22:53 GMT
    You've got a few more weeks to enjoy SummerStage, New York's annual performing arts showcase that's 28 years running. But it's not just music: there is dance, comedy, theater, you name it. There are several shows weekly at 14 different parks throughout the five boroughs. A recent show at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park paid tribute to Pete Seeger. Most of the shows are free and are funded by tickets purchased for the some of the bigger acts.
    You've got a few more weeks to enjoy SummerStage, New York's annual performing arts showcase that's 28 years running. But it's not just music: there is dance, comedy, theater, you name it. There are several shows weekly at 14 different parks throughout the five boroughs. A recent show at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park paid tribute to Pete Seeger. Most of the shows are free and are funded by tickets purchased for the some of the bigger acts.
  • NY teacher tenure system faces new legal challenge

    NY teacher tenure system faces new legal challenge

    Monday, July 28 2014 10:14 PM EDT2014-07-29 02:14:16 GMT
    An educational advocacy group led by former CNN journalist Campbell Brown is challenging New York state's teacher tenure system, filing a lawsuit Monday that alleges that job protections unfairly shield bad teachers. Seven parents of public school children from New York City and Rochester are the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, filed in Supreme Court in Albany.
    An educational advocacy group led by former CNN journalist Campbell Brown is challenging New York state's teacher tenure system, filing a lawsuit Monday that alleges that job protections unfairly shield bad teachers. Seven parents of public school children from New York City and Rochester are the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, filed in Supreme Court in Albany.
  • 2 U.S. marshals, 1 NYPD detective wounded; fugitive killed in Manhattan

    2 U.S. marshals, 1 NYPD detective wounded; fugitive killed in Manhattan

    Monday, July 28 2014 10:10 PM EDT2014-07-29 02:10:52 GMT

    Two deputy U.S. marshals and an NYPD detective were seriously wounded in a shootout with a fugitive sexual assault suspect in the West Village in Manhattan, officials said. The shootout happened in smoke shop called Smoking Culture on West 4th Street near Jones Street.

    Two deputy U.S. marshals and an NYPD detective were seriously wounded in a shootout with a fugitive sexual assault suspect in the West Village in Manhattan, officials said. The shootout happened in smoke shop called Smoking Culture on West 4th Street near Jones Street.


Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices