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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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That's why the Federal Emergency Management Agency came to Iron County Tuesday.

It surveyed the damage because of its severity and the extreme costs to fix.

"Really if it's beyond the scope of local jurisdiction, and even the states that respond," said FEMA External Affairs Officer Troy Christensen.

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FEMA relies on local government like the ones in Iron County to help it assess damage.

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"I like technology a lot more than I do outside stuff," Timm said. "It's kind of nice to have technology like drones to bring me outside. It's really fun."

Camp Instructor, Mike Wojtusik has many years of experience as a technology education teacher and robotics advisor. He wants kids to see the importance in learning these skills.

"The kids are getting experience from a mechanical engineering side, electrical engineering side, design, prototyping," said Wojtusik. "We try and cover as much as we can about the whole entire system."

Learning about robotics isn't the only thing these students do. Some of them are also exercising skills they'll need in the future.

"I think it's a great experience for them to understand what really goes on in the real world as far as a career," Wojtusik said.

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They are required to work in teams to sketch a vision, make prototypes and design a working model with aluminum.

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