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Swab Your Cheek to Join the Registry of Life Savers
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Harrison Blamires graduated from The Sage School in 2019. PHOTO: Matt Leidecker
   
Friday, May 10, 2024
 

BY KAREN BOSSICK

Wood River Valley residents are being invited to swab their cheek on Thursday to be included in the registry for those seeking bone marrow transplants.

The swabs will be administered from 1 to 3 p.m. Thursday, May 16, at the Sage School in Hailey’s Quigley Canyon. Information will be logged in the National Marrow Donor Program registry, which is the most diverse marrow registry in the world going back 35 years.

The drive was the inspiration of Harrison Blamires, who grew up in Hailey and is currently receiving treatment for aplastic anemia in Arizona. Aplastic anemia occurs when a body stops producing enough new blood cells, leaving the person fatigued and prone to infections and uncontrolled bleeding.

A potential donor for Blamires has been identified, but it was important to him to build awareness of the registry and grow the list of registered donors to help others find donor matches, said Hailey resident Amy Albright, one of the donor drive organizers.

“Because donors and recipients are matched by DNA, it’s important to develop as diverse a registry as possible,” she added.

The information gathered by the swab is used to see if the person might be a blood donor match for patients with life-threatening blood disorders like lymphoma, aplastic anemia, leukemia or sickle cell anemia. Donors between the ages of 18 and 40 are targeted because they provide the most active cells for such patients

Most blood marrow donation procedures today are non-surgical.

Those who cannot attend the May 16 drive in person can learn more about joining the registry at https://bethematch.org/. They can obtain swab kits by contacting Amy Albright at amy@leegilman.com.

Anyone wishing to make a donation to help the Blamires Family with medical expenses may do so by making a 100% tax-deductible gift to the Children’s Organ Transport Association at https://cota.org/cotaforharrison/our-story/.

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