For many patients suffering from blood cancers and blood disorders, a bone marrow or stem cell transplant provides hope for a second chance at life.
Tim Hayden, a 46 year old Hampden resident, received devastating news from doctors on New Years Day of 2016; Hayden had been diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, and would require a bone marrow transplant to save his life. However, he has yet to find a matching donor, causing a struggling, uphill battle for his health.
According to their website, Delete Blood Cancer DKMS, a nonprofit organization, is part of the world’s largest network of donor centers. Their mission is to build the number of sustainable bone marrow and stem cell donors, believing that no life should be lost due to an inability to find a donor match. Currently, they have registered more than 5.9 million potential donors, organizing and facilitating more than 54,000 transplants around the world.
Now, Hayden’s family, members of the Hampden Academy chapter of the National Honors Society, and the greater Hampden community, are teaming up to host a donor drive to register new potential donors for Tim, as well as other patients in need of a transplant from an unrelated donor.
The donor drive will be held at Hampden Academy at 89 Western Avenue in Hampden, Maine, on Saturday, March 12, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Registration mostly consists of swabbing the inside of the mouth and completing a registration form. Anyone in good health between the ages of 18 to 55 is eligible.
“This event offers an opportunity for our community to come together and restore hope [for] Mr. Hayden, and various other people around the world,” says Xander Karris, a member of the Hampden Academy chapter of the National Honors Society. “I think I can speak for all of the members of NHS when I say [that] we are truly honored to be part of such an important endeavor.”
This is not a blood drive! No blood will be drawn at this event. This event merely consists of swabbing the inside of the mouth, then having the registrant’s marrow sample tested to see if it is compatible with Tim Hayden, or others in the Delete Blood Cancer DKMS database of patients on waiting lists around the world.
For more information, or to register as a bone marrow donor, please visit www.deletebloodcancer.org, or visit this drive’s Facebook event page, https://www.facebook.com/events/453319954862305/ .