Colorado

Feb 2, 2010 4:22 PM by Laura Rojas

A family's mission to help their loved one find the perfect bone marrow match.

A Pueblo West family is on a mission to find a bone marrow donor for their loved one after being touched by cancer.

The family of Denise Devine decided to improve her odds of finding a life saving donor one cheek swab at a time.

Denise's family held a bone marrow drive at the 4th Annual Pueblo Health Expo and with the steady flow of people signing up with the "Be The Match" registry it was evident their message was heard loud and clear:

Rebecca Starcer, a potential donor says, "We could be a match, this might help my family, maybe I might be a donor for you, this brought more personal attention for myself."

After a routine blood exam Denise, a mother of three was diagnosed with Chronic Myelomonocytic Leukemia, a rare bone marrow disease and the only cure for this disease is a stem cell transplant.
     
Health experts say that your best chances at getting a match are with your siblings. Neither of Denise's two siblings are a match for her.

So now her family is turning to others in hopes of improving her sister's odds and others out there who need a lifesaving donor.  

It is a simple process that requires a cheek swab. Your tissue type is then added to the national registry.

Over 6-thousand patients search the national registry everyday in hopes of finding a match.

And at today's health fair nearly one hundred potential donors came out to register. It was one of the largest turnouts in a while.

Generally there is a 100 dollar tax deductible donation request to join the Be The Match registry, but you can join the registry on-line at no cost to you between now and March 15th.

Go to www.bethematch.org, click on join the registry and use promo code denise4life (no spaces) when prompted.

There is especially a need for people of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds to join the registry.

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