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People register to become a bone marrow transplant donor Submitted: 06/07/2014
Story By Shardaa Gray


RHINELANDER - A Northwoods high schooler made a difference by hosting a bone marrow drive in Rhinelander Saturday.

Rhinelander High School Key Club hosted "Be The Match" inside the schools cafeteria.

The purpose of the event is to add people to the National Bone Marrow Donor Program. A representative for "Be The Match" says about 12 thousand patients need a bone marrow transplant each year.

"Some have a match and others do not. So every person that joins the registry, whether they become a match or not, is giving hope," said Be The Match community engagement specialist Kelli Vanderwielen. "I always communicate that with every drive sponsor that one person getting on the registry that day makes a huge difference."

One of the donors plans to donate a kidney to his aunt this year and has done blood drives before, but nothing like this.

"I knew about donating bone marrow, but it's just something… it's harmless," Bone Marrow donor Jason Hall said. "Come in for half hour, get the test and I'm on my way."

It all depends on the genetic make up of the donor on whether they're a match for the patient. It could take weeks before they know if they're a match.

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"I am here to see my grandson, he is on the court, "said Elsa Burke.

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