Blood Drive and Bone Marrow Registry at Spectrum Health Reed City Campus

Special Drives on Blood Bus Aim to Save Lives Two Ways

The public is invited to give blood and/or register to donate marrow

The blood bus from Michigan Community Blood Centers will open its doors during “twin” drives in Reed City and in Evart on July 25, 2007 in hopes that people from both communities will help save lives by donating blood and/or registering as prospective bone marrow donors. Spectrum Health Reed City Campus and Spectrum Health Evart Clinic are sponsoring and hosting the drives.

The first drive will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Spectrum Health Reed City Campus, 300 Patterson Road, Reed City, MI. The second drive will take place from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Spectrum Health Evart Clinic, 5991 95th Ave., Evart, MI. No appointment is necessary.

Any healthy person 17 or older who weighs 110 pounds or more may be eligible to give blood every 56 days. To join the marrow donor registry, people must be healthy and between ages 18 and 60.

The need for both blood and marrow donors is very great.

“Blood donors always are in short supply during summer, when so many people are busy with seasonal activities and vacations,” said Peter Wandoff, recruiter for Michigan Community Blood Centers. “However, the need for blood never takes a vacation, so it’s important to keep a steady stream of blood donations flowing in.”

Marrow transplants may represent the best hope of survival for some people with certain life-threatening diseases. Each year, about 35,000 people could benefit from transplants. Through the National Marrow Donor Program’s (NMDP) international registry, transplant candidates can be matched with donors who have compatible tissue types. People with leukemia, lymphomas, and other blood cancers make up the largest number of patients matched to donors through the NMDP database. Michigan Community Blood Centers recruits marrow donors for the registry and provides supportive services for transplant patients and donors.

“There is a need for thousands of patients to find unrelated marrow donors,” Wandoff said. “Only about 30 percent of all transplant candidates are able to find matches among family members. For the other 70 percent, unrelated donors represent their best hope to find a match.”

Blood samples will be drawn from people who want to register as prospective marrow donors, for the purpose of tissue-type testing.

“Then each prospective donor’s tissue-type information will be registered in the NMDP’s international database,” Wandoff explained. “In the future, if a registered donor is found to be a match for a patient needing a transplant, that donor will be contacted and asked if he or she is willing to donate marrow at that time.”

People joining the marrow donor registry are not required to donate a pint of blood, but are encouraged to do so.

“It’s always good to boost the community blood supply-and during a high-need season like summer, every pint of donated blood is especially precious,” Wandoff said.

A nonprofit blood bank, Michigan Community Blood Centers in northwest Michigan collects blood in Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Leelanau, Manistee and Osceola counties to provide 100 percent of the blood supply for hospitals in those counties, including all Munson Health System facilities, West Shore Medical Center in Manistee, and Spectrum Health Reed City Campus. Across the state, Michigan Community Blood Centers is the sole provider of blood for hospitals in four major regions with a combined population of more than 1.5 million.