New Castle County Volunteer Firefighter's Association

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Bone Marrow "Be the Match" Event
Thursday, January 5, 2017

The Five Points Fire Company in conjunction with the Newark Jaycess are hosting a  "Be the Match" Bone Marrow Swab Event on Saturday, January 14th starting at 11AM at station 17, 209 S. Maryland Avenue. 

Guidelines & FAQs To join the Be The Match Registry, all you need is to: - Be 18 through 44 years of age (those ages 45-60 may join online:

- Be willing to donate to any patient in need

- Keep your contact information updated and respond quickly if notified you are a match

- Meet the health guidelines (see Health Guidelines and Health Screening Documents) FAQs:

- What does it take to join the registry? o About 5 minutes of paperwork and a quick cheek swab (no blood, no needles!).  Note: the cheek swab is only used to add you to the registry. It is not a donation to a patient.

- I can’t donate blood because of my travel history/iron levels/low weight/tattoo. Am I able to join the Be The Match Registry? o Yes, you can join! These factors will not affect your eligibility. Please review the medical guidelines for more information.

- What diseases are treated with a bone marrow or stem cell transplant? o A marrow or cord blood transplant may be the best treatment option or the only potential for a cure for patients with leukemia, lymphoma, sickle cell and many other diseases. As the science of transplant continues to advance, new diseases are being treated with transplant. Here’s a list of diseases treated with these transplants.

- If I match someone, what happens next? o There are many steps that take place prior to the actual donation, including providing blood samples, participating in an information session, as well as a physical exam. The steps are completed over a span of 4-6 weeks or longer. If those steps are completed successfully, you will proceed with donating in one of two ways (the choice is made by the recipient’s doctor based on what is best for the patient):  Peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) donation is the chosen process 80% of the time. This process is very similar to donating platelets or plasma, and usually takes between 3 and 6 hours. Read more here.  Marrow donation is the chosen process 20% of the time. This process is a surgical procedure where doctors withdraw liquid marrow from the back of the donor’s pelvic bone. Donors are given anesthesia and feel no pain during the donation. Read more here.

- How likely is it that I will donate to someone? o About 1 in 430 members of the Be The Match Registry in the United States will go on to donate marrow or peripheral blood stem cells (PBSC) to a patient.

- I’m over 44, why can’t I join at this event? o To put it simply, your cells are too good at what they do. For those of us over 44 our immune systems operate at a level similar to a Jedi Master (for us Star Wars fans). This can cause additional complications in the patient that receives your cells. Because of this, transplant doctors request donors in the 18-44 age range since their immune systems aren’t as efficient. o Over 95% of the donors selected by transplant physicians are 18-44 years of age. Because of this Be The Match focuses its limited financial resources on this group.  Note: Those between the ages of 45 and 60 who want to join Be The Match Registry are welcome to do so, but must join online and will be required to make a $100 tax-deductible payment to cover the cost to join. You may join online at:

- Other questions? o Go to or reach out to Aimee Haskew ( or 717-448-4996).

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