"Be the Match" event aims to add more to bone-marrow registry

3 months 2 days 7 hours ago October 16, 2016 Oct 16, 2016 Sunday, October 16 2016 Sunday, October 16, 2016 11:53:00 AM CDT in Top Stories
By: Jacob Kornhauser, KOMU 8 Reporter
Embed Code Copied

COLUMBIA — An event called "Be the Match" took place Sunday at Our Lady of the Lourdes Church in Columbia. The event aimed to raise awareness about the importance of bone marrow donation and add more people to the registry.

Event volunteer, Janice Downes, said she got involved after hearing her friend, Kathy Concannon's daughter Chaeleigh, needed a life-saving bone-marrow transplant.

"When I found out Chaeleigh needed a bone-marrow transplant, the first thing you think is 'how can I help? Maybe I can be the match, what can I do?' I think that's everybody's instant reaction is to say 'what can I do to help?'" Downes said. 

Chaeleigh first discovered a lump in her ankle in October 2015. At first, it was thought to be a hematoma. However, on December 23, Chaeleigh was diagnosed with a very rare form of leukemia. Doctors told her she needed a bone-marrow transplant. 

Chaeleigh and her fiancé, Kevin.

The uncertainty of finding worried Chaeleigh's family. 

"It was very stressful not knowing if she had a match. We heard at one point there might be a couple, and then all of a sudden, one day, we found out we had one. When we got the news the donor said 'yes' it was huge, because it was our worst fear that we didn't have one," Kathy Concannon said. 

The donor came from Germany and helped to save Chaeleigh's life. Now, the Concannons, along with Downes, are working to make this "Be the Match" event into an annual gig. 

"Oh yes, this is the first annual. We are going to try and do this every year from here on out," Downes said. 

To join the bone-marrow registry, you can visit BeTheMatch.org. A few requirements to donate:

  • Be between the ages of 18 and 44, although there are a few exceptions
  • Commit to donating to any patient in need
  • Confirm you don't have health issues related to being unable to donate

 

According to Be the Match, someone is diagnosed with a blood cancer like leukemia every three minutes. Many of those need a bone-marrow transplant to survive, but simply don't have a donor. Kathy Concannon said she believes a big reason for the lack of donors is the lower awareness about the need for bone marrow in the United States. 

"A lot of the donors come from Europe. They know about donating bone marrow there like we here know about donating blood. So we are trying to bring awareness here. It would make a huge difference," Kathy Concannon said. 

There are two methods for donating bone marrow. The first is called a PBSC (peripheral blood stem cell) donation and involves the donor taking a drug five days before donate their blood. 

The second is a surgical outpatient procedure that takes place in a hospital operating room. Donors are put under anesthesia and doctors collect marrow from the back of their pelvic bone. Back soreness is common following surgery, but donors are typically back to their normal routine within a week.

Be the Match emphasizes the need for people of diverse backgrounds to donate. This increases the variety of tissue types available and the amount of people that can be saved by transplants. 

Downes said people in the community are already rallying around the cause.

"Other people are like, 'What a great thing. I wanted to help, but didn't know how I could help. Now I can get swabbed and I can feel like I'm helping and maybe if someone needs a match, and I'm their match in the world, they'll call on me,'" Downes said.

Chaeleigh called on someone from Germany for her life-saving transplant. Now her and her family are working to make sure others are as fortunate. 

More News

Grid
List
PHELPS COUNTY - Deputies were dispatched to the intersection of County Road 3000 and County Road 3220 Tuesday around noon... More >>
3 hours ago January 17, 2017 Jan 17, 2017 Tuesday, January 17 2017 Tuesday, January 17, 2017 10:44:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - A bill sponsored by U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri) that hopes to cut government waste and increase accountability... More >>
3 hours ago January 17, 2017 Jan 17, 2017 Tuesday, January 17 2017 Tuesday, January 17, 2017 10:18:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY – Governor Eric Greitens gave his first State of the State address Tuesday, just eight days after his... More >>
6 hours ago January 17, 2017 Jan 17, 2017 Tuesday, January 17 2017 Tuesday, January 17, 2017 7:33:00 PM CST in News
Columbia – The Mayor's Task Force on Medical Tourism met Tuesday to discuss possible recommendations to the Columbia City Council.... More >>
7 hours ago January 17, 2017 Jan 17, 2017 Tuesday, January 17 2017 Tuesday, January 17, 2017 6:52:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA – Concerned community members gathered at Republican U.S. Representative Vicky Hartzler’s office Tuesday to protest a recent development in... More >>
12 hours ago January 17, 2017 Jan 17, 2017 Tuesday, January 17 2017 Tuesday, January 17, 2017 1:58:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA – Higher education institutions have concern over the impact of Governor Greitens' announced budget cuts that will largely decrease... More >>
12 hours ago January 17, 2017 Jan 17, 2017 Tuesday, January 17 2017 Tuesday, January 17, 2017 1:41:00 PM CST in Continuous News
JEFFERSON CITY - Rep. Kip Kendrick, D-Columbia, filed two bills on Tuesday addressing the rise of student debt. The... More >>
12 hours ago January 17, 2017 Jan 17, 2017 Tuesday, January 17 2017 Tuesday, January 17, 2017 1:35:00 PM CST in News
CARTHAGE (AP) — Authorities say a 10-year-old girl has died in a southwest Missouri shooting that appears to be accidental.... More >>
14 hours ago January 17, 2017 Jan 17, 2017 Tuesday, January 17 2017 Tuesday, January 17, 2017 12:01:13 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — New Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens will outline his policies on jobs, ethics, public safety and education... More >>
14 hours ago January 17, 2017 Jan 17, 2017 Tuesday, January 17 2017 Tuesday, January 17, 2017 11:14:00 AM CST in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis' fortunes may be looking up, thanks to a surprising surge in business startups. ... More >>
15 hours ago January 17, 2017 Jan 17, 2017 Tuesday, January 17 2017 Tuesday, January 17, 2017 11:03:00 AM CST in News
COLUMBIA - Prosecutors have filed charges against one of two men arrested following an assault at the Red Roof Inn... More >>
15 hours ago January 17, 2017 Jan 17, 2017 Tuesday, January 17 2017 Tuesday, January 17, 2017 10:25:00 AM CST in News
COLUMBIA - An MU associate teaching professor is presenting a petition to the Columbia City Council Tuesday evening on behalf... More >>
1 day ago January 17, 2017 Jan 17, 2017 Tuesday, January 17 2017 Tuesday, January 17, 2017 1:34:00 AM CST in News
COLUMBIA - Almost 50 years after the death of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Columbia groups still... More >>
1 day ago January 16, 2017 Jan 16, 2017 Monday, January 16 2017 Monday, January 16, 2017 10:08:00 PM CST in News
SUNRISE BEACH – Buying and selling personal property privately, such as furniture, clothes and cars, is commonplace in today’s world... More >>
1 day ago January 16, 2017 Jan 16, 2017 Monday, January 16 2017 Monday, January 16, 2017 9:18:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - After a budget resolution aimed at repealing Obamacare was reached Jan. 12, groups in Missouri plan to protest... More >>
1 day ago January 16, 2017 Jan 16, 2017 Monday, January 16 2017 Monday, January 16, 2017 2:50:00 PM CST in News
CALIFORNIA (AP) - Central Missouri Democrats nominated an attorney who formerly worked for the Missouri Senate to run in a... More >>
1 day ago January 16, 2017 Jan 16, 2017 Monday, January 16 2017 Monday, January 16, 2017 2:36:00 PM CST in News
HILLSBORO (AP) - The Missouri State Highway Patrol says a 28-year-old man died after a four-wheeler he was riding on... More >>
1 day ago January 16, 2017 Jan 16, 2017 Monday, January 16 2017 Monday, January 16, 2017 2:09:00 PM CST in News
NICKELVILLE (AP) - A southwest Missouri county highway is expected to be closed until Thursday as crews clean up an... More >>
1 day ago January 16, 2017 Jan 16, 2017 Monday, January 16 2017 Monday, January 16, 2017 2:02:00 PM CST in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 37°
2am 31°
3am 30°
4am 29°
5am 29°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

1:37a
Paid Program
2:07a
Today
3:00a
Mad Money
1:30a
Seinfeld
2:00a
Paid Program
2:30a
Paid Program

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Blindspot
8:00p
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
9:00p
Chicago P.D.
7:00p
Arrow
8:00p
Frequency
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld