LAS VEGAS – To help increase the blood supply in Southern Nevada and to encourage more people to join the bone marrow registry, Cure 4 The Kids Foundation has joined with Vitalant and Be The Match for the “Find It In Your Heart To Donate” event.
The public is strongly encouraged to make an appointment to donate blood on Friday, February 12, 2021, between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Appointments can be made at bloodhero.com and entering the code CURE4KIDS, or by calling 877-25-VITAL. The two Vitalant bloodmobiles will be located in front of the building at One Breakthrough Way, Las Vegas, NV 89135.
In addition, there is an emergency need for plasma from those who have already been diagnosed with COVID-19 and who have recovered. Plasma from these donors can help many who are currently battling the virus. Learn more about vitalant.org/covidfree.
Bone Marrow Registry
Be The Match representatives will also be on hand to accept those who wish to join the bone marrow registry which is done via a mouth swab. No appointment is needed. Those who are healthy and between the ages of 18 to 44 can join at no cost. Those between ages 45 and 60 may also join the registry, but will have to cover the cost of joining which is $100. (Blood cells from younger donors tend to be more successful which is why there is no cost for those aged 18-44.)
While all ethnicities are needed for the bone marrow registry, there is a special need for donors of color. Currently, a Caucasian in search of a bone marrow donor has a 77 percent chance of finding a match due to the large number of Caucasians in the registry. However, the odds of an African-American patient finding a match is just 23 percent, Hispanic or Latino patients, 46 percent; Asian or Pacific Islander, 41 percent; and American Indian or Alaska Native have a 57 percent chance of finding a match.
“Blood and bone marrow donors are crucial for our community and certainly for our pediatric patients at Cure 4 The Kids Foundation,” said Katherine Salkanovic, Patient Experience Director, Cure 4 The Kids Foundation. “We have several pediatric patients currently waiting to find a match so that they can receive a bone marrow transplant. As for blood donations, many of our patients have had medical procedures delayed because a specific blood type was not available locally. Everyone will benefit from having an adequate blood supply in Southern Nevada.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has taken an incredible toll on blood donation and bone marrow registry events in Southern Nevada and across the country. All donors are assured all necessary precautions will be strictly enforced including the wearing of a mask and social distancing requirements.
“As a stem cell transplant recipient, I know the value of a committed donor,” said Taylor Brown who received her stem cell transplant at age 21. “My donor followed through and saved my life when called. I will forever be grateful for his courage and selflessness. In such an uncertain time, I was fortunate enough to have the certainty of a stranger.”
Blood donation guidelines:
Blood donors must be at least 16 years old (16 and 17-year-olds must bring a signed permission form from a parent or guardian)
Weigh at least 110 pounds
Be in good general health
Drink plenty of water 24 to 48 hours prior to donation
Additional donation information at vitalant.org/blood-donation-requirements
Bone marrow registry guidelines:
Join the registry by completing a mouth swab
Donors must be between 18 and 44 years of age (Those aged 45-60 who also want to join the registry must cover the cost of joining
You cannot become a donor if you have had certain diseases
Learn more at join.bethematch.org
About Cure 4 The Kids Foundation
We are Nevada’s only pediatric cancer treatment center and facility for childhood catastrophic diseases. Founded in Las Vegas in 2007 as a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit, Cure 4 The Kids Foundation exists to advance cures and prevention of childhood cancer through clinical excellence, research, and innovation. We are proudly accredited by The Joint Commission. This stringent medical accreditation and the required unannounced inspections ensure that patients are getting the best care possible. From the beginning, the mission of Cure 4 The Kids Foundation has been to bring increased community access to these specialized treatments that are leading the way to improved patient outcomes. Our Patient Care Program provides the highest quality treatment for everyone, no matter their financial situation. No patient is turned away because of their family’s inability to pay. www.cure4thekids.org