Bone marrow drive held to find matches for patients

A drive was held at YSU to find volunteer matches for bone marrow transplant patients.

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A bone marrow donor registry drive was held at YSU on Saturday to find potential matches for patients in need of a transplant.

The drive was organized by Be the Match, and all volunteers had to do was have their cheek swabbed.

“A lot of people think donating bone marrow is really painful, and it used to be, but it has really changed,” said Tonya Davis, Be the Match Community Engagement Representative. “The process is completely different, so most donors donate something called stem cells and it’s done through a process that’s like donating platelets or plasma. So it’s just two IVs in your arm, no pain like that.”

Penny Elrdrige-Harris of Youngstown was recently diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), which is a blood cancer. She is just one person hoping to find a match. Like many patients who need a bone marrow transplant, there wasn’t a match in her family.

If any of the volunteers match someone who needs a transplant, they’ll be contacted later.

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