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Offering to Save a Life, Swab-a-thon

Offering to save a life, across the valley potential donors could register to see if they're a match to someone in need of a bone marrow donor.

A one in a million chance to save someones life, literally.

"Bone marrow is the last hope in many cases," explains volunteer, Susan Barengo.

"I thought, why not. If somebody needs help, I would want someone else to do it for me, so one in a million but you never know," says Debbie, who registered herself.

It's the "Be the Match Swab-a-thon." One volunteer says she's inspired by an Ohio woman with leukemia, fighting for her life. "A friend of mine who lives in Columbus has a neighbor who is waiting for a match and so her friends have rallied," explains Barengo.

So now this swab-a-thon calls upon new potential bone marrow donors. "Bone marrow can be used to help cure 73 different diseases," continues Barengo. "The bone marrow, 80 percent of the time is like giving blood so very rarely do they have to actually go into the hip and take bone."

It only takes minutes to register, fill out a form and swab your cheek. The swab is then put into a national database and if the potential donor matches someone in need they're called, maybe tomorrow or maybe in ten years.

"I think it's something that is important to do," explains Bo Richardson who registered himself. "I donate blood so it's not that different donating marrow, there's a little more of a procedure but if I can save a life. I'll save a life."

"We may not find a match for Kim but hopefully we will find a match for other people who need a match," explains Barengo.

The swab-a-thon could be found at Pioneer Chevrolet Cadillac showroom, Reno, People's Bank Putnam Street location, Marietta, Marietta Memorial Hospital's Belpre Medical Campus lobby, Belpre.

Anyone wanting to register to be a potential donor can call their local hospital on availability to donate.


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