Potential bone marrow donors discover simple steps to save lives

NEWPORT, AR (KAIT) - The Arkansas State University campus in Newport hosted a bone marrow drive Thursday, hoping to find matches for people battling leukemia or other blood diseases.

Donna Mabry of Newport decided to organize the event for a friend's daugher, who's battling blood cancer and has yet to find a bone marrow match.

She says many more would benefit by getting additional donors entered into the DKMS database in New York. To do that, she says the process is simple. People would just need to attend a drive, review their medical history and fill out a registration form. She says, then, they just "swish, swallow and swab."

Mabry hands each potential donor a small cup of water that he or she needs to swish around his or her mouth, swallow and then swab inside each cheek for 10 seconds. The swabs will then be sent for testing.

Mabry says the 15-minute process could help save someone's life.

"Sixty percent of people with this don't find a match, so, if we could get more people to become bone marrow donors, we could save lots of lives," she said. "The thing that would be a blessing to me would be to get a phone call and say, hey, you're a match for someone."

Mabry has organized another donor drive set for Saturday, March 31. Stop by the ASU-Newport campus from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. to sign up and get swabbed.

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