Register for the Marrow Donor Drive: The Chance of a Lifetime…

CVWD is partnering with Be The Match Registry at City of Hope to register bone marrow donors. The primary objective for the drive is to register donors to find a suitable match for Steve Robbins, La Quinta Rotarian and CVWD General Manager-Chief Engineer. As you all know, Steve is undergoing chemotherapy at City of Hope due to leukemia. Steve’s brother was tested and was not an acceptable match for his bone marrow transplant. So, we are hopeful that many of you will consider registering and, perhaps, one of you may be an acceptable match for Steve.

Marrow Donor Drive

When: Wednesday, June 13

Time: Noon to 5:00 p.m.

Where: Training Rooms Palm Desert Admin

It’s about helping patients

Be The Match Registry is the largest, most diverse marrow and blood stem cell registry in the world—facilitating critically needed transplants for patients with leukemia and other life-threatening diseases across the country. Be The Match will register potential donors, perform testing and enter you into the national donor registry. The Registry has been helping patients receive transplants for more than 25 years.

Of the 10 million donors, less than half are minority donors. Because tissue types are inherited, patients are most likely to match someone of their own race or ethnicity. This means that minorities have a lesser chance of finding a bone marrow match. There is a great need to add Hispanics, American Indians, African-Americans, Asians and persons of one or more ethnic or racial background.

By becoming a registered donor, you may be the right match for a child in Florida, a mother in Costa Rica or even your next door neighbor. If more minorities became bone marrow matches, it would create a more diverse registry by adding new tissue types that are currently not available and thereby increasing the chances of all patients in need of marrow transplants.

At any given time, 6,000 critically ill people throughout the world search the registry for a donor match—that match could be you.

It’s about finding a match 

Be The Match offers people the unique opportunity to help a patient by donating bone marrow. For our donor drive, our primary objective is to educate the public about the need for more potential marrow donors and to find a suitable match for patients, like Steve. You will be entered into the Be The Match Registry and perhaps one day be called upon to help save another person’s life. Thousands of patients with blood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma, sickle cell and other life-threatening diseases depend on Be The Match Registry to find a match.

 It’s about being a part of the solution

Step 1. Join the

Be The Match Registry

To sign up for the CVWD-sponsored donor drive, send an Email to Gabino Cabanilla ( with your name and preferred time to donate. The drive will be conducted by the City of Hope on Wednesday, June 13, 2012 from Noon to 5:00 p.m. in the Palm Desert Administration Training Rooms. The entire process takes less than 15 minutes. At the drive, you will provide your contact information, complete a brief health questionnaire and sign a consent form. Employees in Coachella, Palm Desert, West Shores and all WRPs are encouraged to participate, including your friends and family in the community. Employees should work with their supervisors to coordinate the timing for donations.

After registration, the Be The Match Community Outreach Specialist will ask you to provide a sample of your DNA by swabbing the inside of your mouth to obtain tissue cells for testing. The Registry will categorize your sample and enter it into the worldwide database. Any information you provide the City of Hope for the Registry, as well as the District, during this donor drive is protected health information.

Step 2. Get Ready to Donate

About 70% of patients in need of a transplant do not have a matching donor in their family.

If you match a patient, the Registry will contact and ask you about your health and schedule more testing to ensure you are the best match for the patient in need.

Step 3. Donate Marrow

The patient’s doctor requests one of two types of donation, depending on what is best for the patient. The most common method of donation is a nonsurgical procedure that takes place at a blood center or outpatient hospital unit. For five days leading up to donation, you will be given injections of a drug called filgrastim to increase the number of blood-forming cells in your bloodstream. Your blood is then removed through a needle in one arm and passed through a machine that separates out the blood-forming cells or Peripheral Blood Stem Cells (PBSC). The remaining blood is returned to you through the other arm. Your blood-forming cells are back to their normal levels within four to six weeks.

The second type of marrow collection is a surgical outpatient procedure that takes place in a hospital while you’re under anesthesia. Doctors use a needle to withdraw liquid marrow from the back of your pelvic bone.

Step 4: Recovery and Follow-Up

Recovery times vary depending on the individual and type of donation. Most donors are able to return to work, school and other activities within one to 7 days after donation. The Registry will follow-up with you until you are able to resume normal activity.

Whether you are a match or not one at this time, your registration with Be The Match is the first step in narrowing the gap to find a suitable blood marrow donor for a family member or someone living in another country. You can become part of the solution in helping patients find a match. If you are identified as a matched donor, you may be the only person who can provide lifesaving marrow to that one person. So, consider donating on Wednesday, June 13, from Noon to 5:00 p.m. and sign up now. We all have the power within us to help and the power to give hope.