Thursday, 03 May 2007 00:58

Sutter Creek Duck Race Also The Scene of BloodSource Bone Marrow Drive

slide12Saturday the Great Sutter Duck Race was also the scene of a simple procedure that may help people in need of a bone marrow transplant. Jim Archer of Inventex, sponsor of the event, states that over 130 people received the simple swab procedure. According to BloodSource who administered and will be handling the swabs, the samples will now be tested and the results are put on a registry that is has become international. A BloodSource Marrow Specialist, Liz Ustick who was present on Saturday says, “Doctors who have patients with leukemia (and other cancers) will look at the registry to see if they (the samples) match their patients. If they are a match there is further testing that is done on the (donors) blood. If they are the perfect match they will go on and donate the marrow.”

slide7Ustick explained that bone marrow can now be donated in two different ways. The original way she explained is done while a patient is under general anesthesia and doctors extract liquid marrow from the iliac crest or from the genera pelvic area. “The other way is PBSC,” explained Ustick. “That is for 4-5 days before the procedure, the donor is given a drug called filgrosterestiam and it stimulates the body to produce more stem cells. The stem cells can’t stay in the bone so they go into the blood stream. After the 4th or 5th day the donor comes into a donor center and is hooked up to machine (that) takes the blood out of one arm and separates the stem cells and keeps the stem cells and then returns the blood in the opposite arm.” Ustick says that the PBSC way is done 65-75% more often.

“It’s a newer way and the doctors feel in some cases a better way. It may be because it is a less invasive procedure to the donor.” Once a person signs up to be a bone marrow donor they remain on the international registry until they are 61 or until they decline to be on the list. Ustick pointed out that it is extremely important for donors to let BloodSource know when they have moved or change their phone number, so the company always knows how to get a hold of you. It could mean life or death for someone waiting for a donor. Ustick said the community support she saw on Saturday was amazing.

slide8She said often times BloodSource will hold a similar drive at a fair or other public event and they will get “maybe 10 donors.” “To sign up 130 people shows what kind of community Amador is.” Also present on Saturday were members of baby Trevor’s family, for which the event was held in honor of. While Trevor Kott lost his battle to leukemia just days before the event, his family said that he has a legacy as thousands of people have signed up for the Bone Marrow Registry after hearing his story. Ustick who had just met with Trevor’s family before speaking with TSPN said, “The family is dong as good as can be expected. They are honored by the people that were touched by their story.” Ustick added that the people who signed up for the registry “are going to go on and save lives for generations to come.”

“Thank you to everybody and Inventex for being a part of the event,” said Ustick. “Hopefully when you get a call that you are willing to donate. Everybody that signs up is a hope to a family out there and everybody that is searching for match,” said Ustick. If you are interested in becoming a donor contact BloodSource at 1 (800) 995-4420.