North Cascade Members Get Swabbed to Save Lives
On national Make a Difference Day, Oct. 25, 2014, members of the North Cascade Church in Burlington learned how they could make a difference by taking a cheek swab and registering to be bone marrow donors. Alexandra Brandt shared her success story during the ministry feature of the worship service.
Diagnosed with cancer at 18 months of age, Brandt received several rounds of chemotherapy. Her leukemia went into remission but then relapsed at age 3. Unable to find a donor match within the family, Brandt was one of the first to receive a transplant from a nonrelative. She and her donor became lifelong friends.
“He was my buddy, my big brother,” Brandt explains. “He would come to my birthday parties, and not too long ago he came to my wedding.” Brandt encouraged participation in the donor program and emphasized that “donating ... to save somebody’s life is not just about changing their life; it also will change yours.”
Information about the Delete Blood Cancer (DBC) donor program as well as sign-up sheets for participation in the upcoming cheek-swabbing drive were available in the church lobby. On Nov. 8, eligible donors completed information forms, swabbed inside both cheeks and sealed their swabs in envelopes to be returned to the DBC organization for testing and database entry.
The DBC organization provides the procedure free of charge to both donors and recipients. Information on hosting a donor drive is available on the website DeleteBloodCancer.org.