ABC11 Match Madness

ABC11 Together highlights the strength of human spirit, good deeds, community needs and how our viewers can help
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ABC11 Be the Match

ABC11, Radio One Raleigh and Univision 40 joined forces for the annual ABC11 Together Match Madness - Bone Marrow Donor Registration Drive, on Saturday, March 10. at The Streets at Southpoint in Durham.

We're happy to report that many people stepped up and signed up while we were there.

Several joined Tisha Powell doing The Wobble as others took selfies with Steve Daniels, John Clark, Diane Wilson and members of our media partners' teams.

"It is so important that they come and join us," said Ginna Cardenas of Univision," then we can make this list bigger and we can save more lives!"

We also met people brought together by Be The Match. One donor traveled all the way from Kentucky to stand with the woman saved by her blood marrow donation.

"And I'm so grateful to her! I just hope this story, our story will inspire one person to go out there, save a life," said Shola Amos about her donor Jeannette Relford.

Smiling, Relford told us "I'm just an instrument, that's it! So God brought us together for a reason!"

Our media partnerships are intentional, as we work to raise awareness of the role diversity plays in this lifesaving effort. Amos and Relford are black and, both urge everyone reading this story to consider signing up as a potential donor.

"By the grace of God and with a needed donor, I am here today," said Amos.

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Carson Arthur once received a bone marrow donation. Now, his bone-marrow drives have helped save a life.

The Match Madness campaign is a partnership with Be The Match whose mission is to provide hope for a cure by connecting patients with life-saving marrow donors. Here is more information:

Q: How old do you have to be to register?
A: You must be between the ages of 18-44 to register at this event.

Q: What is registration like?
A: A swab will be taken from the inside of your cheek and you will be added to the registry. It's that simple. There is also some paperwork. The whole process is about 20 minutes.

Q: What is my commitment if I join?
A: When you join the Be The Match Registry, you make a commitment to:

* Be listed on the registry until your 61st birthday, unless you ask to be removed
* Consider donating to a searching patient who matches you
* Keep us updated if your address changes, you have significant health changes or you change your mind about being a donor
* Respond quickly if you are contacted as a potential match for a patient

Q: What is the donation process?
A: Adult donors may be asked to donate in one of two ways:

- Peripheral blood cell (PBSC) donation involves removing a donor's blood through a needle in one arm. The blood is passed through a machine that separates out the cells used in transplants. The remaining blood is returned through the other arm.
- Bone marrow donation is a surgical procedure, in which liquid marrow is withdrawn from the back of the donor's pelvic bones using needles. Anesthesia is always used for this procedure, so donors feel no pain during marrow donation. Most donors feel some pain in their lower back for a few days afterward.

Q: Why is there a need for people to join the Be The Match Registry?
A: Thousands of patients with blood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma, sickle cell and other life-threatening diseases depend on the Be The Match Registry to find a match to save their lives.

Patients from ethnic backgrounds (African American, Hispanic, Asian and Native American), have the lowest odds of finding a match compared to other populations. Patients are most likely to match someone who shares their ancestry.

"The cure for blood cancer is in the hands of ordinary people." -Be the Match Foundation

If you can't make it to the event you can find more information at
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