Military News

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Volunteers recruit potential donors to save lives

by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman
52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs


8/4/2015 - SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany -- Volunteers heightened awareness and recruited potential donors for the C.W. Bill Young Department of Defense Marrow Donor Program during the Relay for Life event at the outdoor track on Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, July 31.

The program's initiative is to match registered donors with patients who are in need of a bone marrow transplant when alternative options are not available.

"When patients are diagnosed with leukemia, lymphoma and other fatal blood diseases, a bone marrow transplant may be their best or only hope for a cure," Davis said. "Approximately 70 percent of patients who need a transplant do not have a matched donor in their family. They depend on supporters like the Spangdahlem community to find a match and help save their life."

Since the creation of the program in 1986, more than six million Americans including nearly half a million service members have registered as marrow donors.

"Registering is simple, painless, and will be done with an oral swab," said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Bridgette Davis, 52nd Aerospace Medicine Squadron bioenvironmental engineering technician and program point of contact for Spangdahlem. "There is a particularly urgent need for minority donors, non-Caucasian applicants, but anyone in good health between the ages of 18 and 60 is welcome."

For any questions about registering as a donor contact Staff Sgt. Davis or Airman 1st Class Kyle Schmidt at DSN 314-452-8348.

For more information on the C.W. Bill Young Department of Defense Marrow Donor Program, visit https://www.salutetolife.org/

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