Norwich – A local radio station’s recent bone marrow registration drive brought 105 potential bone marrow donors to the Holiday Inn in Norwich to register for the Rhode Island Blood Center.
Dave Elder, program director of WCTY-97.7 FM radio station, which worked with the Rhode Island Blood Center to put on the drive, said that 105 people came to get a cheek swab to determine whether they are potential bone marrow matches for someone in need of a transplant.
“The listeners really got it, they understood the importance of what they were doing.” Elder said. “They heard our interviews with donors and survivors and were moved by their stories.”
The drive was originated by the Rhode Island Blood Center for the “Be the Match” registry in conjunction with WCTY. Every year, 10,000 patients with leukemia, lymphoma, sickle cell anemia and other life threatening diseases need a bone marrow transplant from an unrelated donor, but only half that number receive one, Elder said.
Eric St. Peter of the Rhode Island Blood Center said there is almost a 100 percent chance that someone from the Norwich drive will be selected as a match for someone waiting for a transplant.