On November 20, 2017 in our Administration Community Room, ELGA Credit Union, in partnership with DKMS (We Delete Blood Cancer) hosted a Bone Marrow Donor Registration Drive.  Hank Graff of Davison also helped sponsor the event, and their employees got involved as well. We titled the event #ELGATHANKSforGIVINGaSWAB.

Nearly 20,000 Americans need a bone marrow transplant every year. 70% of these patients do not have a compatible match in their family and will need to rely on the registry to find a donor. Unfortunately 6 out of 10 patients will not receive the transplant they need because a match cannot be found. This is why it is important to get as many people on the registry as possible.

In May 2015, I found out I was pregnant. At this same time I also found out I have Chronic Myeloid Leukemia. My leukemia is well controlled, and I am very lucky to live a pretty normal life. However, I know that at any point that could change, and I would need a bone marrow or stem cell transplant to save my life. This is why this cause is so very close to my heart.

I know the need for donors is great, so I took the idea to ELGA Credit Union about hosting a donor drive with DKMS here at the credit union. ELGA was very supportive and loved the idea from the very beginning. I did a presentation for both the ELGA and Hank Graff staff to tell my story and explain the need for donors, and what the process requires. The response was great and many commented to me about it being something they had never really given much thought to. Everyone was very appreciative of me bringing this awareness to them.

DKMS was great to work with. They walked me through every step of the process, and our rep even face -timed with me to go over all the instructions on how to fill the forms out correctly and ensure the test swabs were done properly. They sent me so many supplies! From tablecloths to signs, flyers, bracelets, pens, and more. I will definitely use them for any future drives that I put together as I would love to make this an annual event.

Between ELGA associates, Hank Graff associates, and ELGA members we were able to get 78 new people on the donor registry at our drive. That is 78 more people available to patients who are looking for a match. If even one of those people can end up saving the life of someone someday, it will all be worth it. My heart is happy with all that we have accomplished.

Click HERE to view the full event photo album.
Guest Blogger – Tracy Mandock, Centralized Lending
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