In an effort to find a match for 14-year-old Jamaya Johnson of Bossier City, La., two community-wide marrow registry drives will be held in North Louisiana this Thanksgiving weekend. The first will be held on Friday, Nov. 23 from 11:30a.m. - 3:00p.m. at Rose of Sharon Baptist Church, 720 Adams Rd., Monroe, La. The other drive will be on Saturday, Nov. 24 in Bossier City, La. at Rusheon Middle School's gym from 11a.m. - 2p.m., 2401 Old Minden Rd. Anyone ages 18 to 44 in good health are encouraged to sign up on the registry. African-Americans are strongly encouraged to register because the race is currently under-represented on the registry --less than 10 percent of nearly 10 million registrants. Patients are most likely to find a match within their own ethnicity.
Jamaya, one of four siblings, is battling Hodgkin's Lymphoma for the third time in two years. A marrow donor is imminent. "Most of the time I'm scared I'm not going to wake up the next morning. So I pray every night that if I don't for my family to have a better life," says Jamaya.
Registrants will be placed on the National Marrow Donor Program's list as potential marrow donors. It takes about ten minutes to register, requiring only a cheek swab and confidential paperwork. The registrants' applications will be expedited and tested specifically for Jamaya, and then available for other patients in need also. If someone is a potential match, they will be contacted and given the choice for additional testing. If a match for Jamaya is found, the marrow donor will undergo a Peripheral Blood Stem Cell donation; no surgery will be required.
LifeShare Blood Centers provides applications for the National Marrow Donor Program's registry at all its centers. For those who cannot attend the Marrow Drive at Rose of Sharon, stop by LifeShare Blood Centers Monroe location at 2909 Kilpatrick Blvd. or call 318.673.1534.
As an affiliate of the National Marrow Donor Program through a partnership with the Gulf Coast Bone Marrow Program, LifeShare recruits and registers individuals for the national marrow registry (Be The Match) and conducts confirmatory testing on those who have been identified as potential donors. Everyday 10,000 patients in the U.S. are searching Marrow Registry. More information about the National Marrow Donor Program can be found at: www.BeTheMatch.org.
LifeShare Blood Centers regularly supplies blood components to 117 medical facilities throughout Louisiana, East Texas and Southwest Arkansas. Founded in Shreveport, La. in 1942, it is a nonprofit community service provider governed by a volunteer Board of Trustees. LifeShare is a member of America’s Blood Centers and the American Rare Donor Program, is licensed by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration and accredited by AABB.