‘Be the Match’ working to register marrow donors

Posted at 4:34 PM, Sep 27, 2014
and last updated 2014-09-27 18:34:11-04

SALT LAKE CITY – A bone marrow registration drive held in Salt Lake City Saturday sought to spread the message that, “it only takes one person to be a match.”

The “Be the Match” event was held at The Gateway in downtown Salt Lake City, and those who participated underwent a health evaluation and had their cheek swabbed so their information could be added to a registry of potential donors.

The effort is on behalf of people who have been diagnosed with blood cancers and diseases like leukemia and lymphoma, and event organizers were specifically looking for donors between the ages of 18 and 44.

John Philpot, an attendant at the drive for Be the Match in Utah , said age can be important when it comes to donating.

“And the reason for that is because the younger the marrow, the higher the likelihood of a positive outcome for the patient,” Philpot said. “My donor, for example, was 29 years old. And then people between 44 and 65 years old, people can still join the registry, but they need to do that online.”

Philpot, who received a transplant after being diagnosed with a form of leukemia, said those who donate are offering themselves, “as a potential live saver.”

It costs Be the Match about $100 to register someone, so they said they are grateful to receive donations. It does not cost the donor money to participate. Event organizers said they are looking for donors from diverse ethnic backgrounds, as it is common for those in need of a donor to match with someone of their same racial background.

For more information about the event and the effort to register more donors, click here.