Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal, Oct. 1, 2001

Bone marrow, blood drive set for Wed. in Winsted

By Patrice Waldron

After hours of planning, a successful fundraiser, and the support of many people, the Winsted Fire Department will host its bone marrow/blood drive Wednesday, Oct. 3 from 1:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the fire hall.

The Winsted fleet of fire trucks will be moved out of the station, the long tables set up, and the firefighters hope to see a good turn-out at the Winsted fire station for this important event.

There is a great need for bone marrow. Bone marrow from an unrelated donor may be the only option available to some cancer patients, and placing one's name on the National Marrow Donor Registry could save a life.

Each year an estimated 30,000 children and adults are diagnosed with life-threatening diseases, such as leukemia, and may need a bone marrow transplant to survive, according to Russ Rooney of the Marrow Donor Program at the St. Paul American Red Cross.

The terrible part is, nearly 70 percent of these patients will not find a suitable donor in their family. This is where the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) comes in.

To have one's name placed on the registry a few things are required:

· age 18 to 60 years;

· be in good general health;

· willingness to submit a blood sample; and

· a firm commitment to save someone's life.

The lack of commitment on the part of a donor could mean the difference between life or death - for the patient, according to NMDP literature.

Blood drive

Even though blood donor centers across the nation are busier than ever, following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York, and Washington D.C. and the plane crash in Pennsylvania, the blood supply must be continually replenished.

The need for blood is very great. Receiving a blood transfusion is necessary for many different reasons.

The survivors of those horrible events may require immediate blood transfusions and may also need blood in the future.

Some people need blood when they have surgery. Patients involved in accidents and other traumatic events often require blood, and patients with different types of anemia may require periodic blood transfusions.

Winsted Fire Chief Paul Herbolsheimer reminds people that even if they were unable to attend the pre-registration open house last week, they are still encouraged to participate in Wednesday's drive.

"There has been a great amount of support so far from the community. Everyone's efforts are really appreciated. Now we just hope to see a good turn-out on Wednesday, when it really counts," Herbolsheimer said.

More information

For more information about the Marrow Donor Program at the St. Paul American Red Cross call toll free, 800-874-1365, ext. 4.

For information about the National Marrow Donor Program, call 800-MARROW-2, or go to its web site at: www.marrow.org

The American Red Cross home page is www.yourbloodcenter.com

Rooney will be available at the bone marrow/blood drive to answer questions concerning becoming a prospective bone marrow donor.

All costs involved in sample collection and processing to become a prospective bone marrow donor have been covered by the fund-raising efforts of the fire department and the generosity of area residents and businesses.

Herbolsheimer would like to send the message to people in the surrounding communities, that the drive is not just for Winsted residents.

"Everyone is invited to participate. This is something the fire department wants to offer any one in the area to take part in," Herbolsheimer said.

The National Marrow Donor Registry is a national network which may even help patients internationally, explained Rooney.

All that is required on the day of the drive is completing the necessary paperwork, a blood sample, (or a unit of blood, if you choose to donate), and the willingness to save someone's life.

If you are undecided, or want to learn more, come to the Winsted fire station Wednesday between the hours of 1:30 and 7:30 p.m. Your questions will be answered, and it will be up to you to make the decision whether or not to have your name added to the registry.

Questions about the bone marrow/blood drive can also be directed to Herbolsheimer at (320) 485-4210.


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