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

2 years 1 month 3 weeks ago Sunday, October 16 2016 Oct 16, 2016 Sunday, October 16, 2016 11:53:00 AM CDT October 16, 2016 in Top Stories
By: Jacob Kornhauser, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

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
COLUMBIA - A second-degree domestec assault charge against Missouri Football defensive end will not be filed, according to the... More >>
6 hours ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 8:24:00 PM CST December 11, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri recently joined the ranks of many colleges across the country by starting up an... More >>
7 hours ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 8:08:00 PM CST December 11, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - An investigation into a First Student bus concern has lead to an increased police presence in one... More >>
7 hours ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 7:29:00 PM CST December 11, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - After almost three years, Jefferson City now has new and improved fire trucks. Jefferson City Fire... More >>
8 hours ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 7:03:00 PM CST December 11, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Neighbors on Lasso Circle in Columbia's Old Hawthorne neighborhood feel safe, but are more vigilant exactly a year... More >>
9 hours ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 6:07:00 PM CST December 11, 2018 in News
FULTON - Fulton Soup Kitchen is working to open its new location in Fulton, but a $1,700 utilities down payment... More >>
9 hours ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 5:18:00 PM CST December 11, 2018 in News
OZARK, Mo. (AP) — The southwest Missouri city of Ozark that had said it was removing a Christian cross from... More >>
9 hours ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 5:17:00 PM CST December 11, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- The Columbia Police Department is investigating a death downtown. CPD announced the investigation on Twitter just after 4... More >>
10 hours ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 4:44:00 PM CST December 11, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — An eastern Missouri doctor has been sentenced to more than three years in prison for prescribing... More >>
12 hours ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 2:48:09 PM CST December 11, 2018 in Continuous News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A Kansas City man who told officers he was planning to kill someone and was "kinda... More >>
12 hours ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 2:42:49 PM CST December 11, 2018 in Continuous News
JEFFERSON CITY - As Missouri's Secretary of State waits for a response from the State Auditor, a political expert weighed... More >>
12 hours ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 2:41:00 PM CST December 11, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department has been dispatched to Ballenger Lane in North Columbia 11 times so far this... More >>
12 hours ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 2:21:00 PM CST December 11, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Walgreens is giving Missouri a new tool in the fight against opioid abuse, and it's a simple... More >>
13 hours ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 2:02:00 PM CST December 11, 2018 in News
TAOS - A school bus holding 38 students ranging from K-12 was hit head-on Tuesday morning while stopped on Dove... More >>
14 hours ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 12:19:00 PM CST December 11, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Both U.S. senators from Missouri are demanding answers about the death of a veteran after an... More >>
16 hours ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 10:58:05 AM CST December 11, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Gunfire in the neighborhood around Blue Ridge Elementary School led to a modified lockdown Tuesday afternoon, and police... More >>
16 hours ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 10:39:00 AM CST December 11, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Jefferson City Public Schools has named the first football head coach for the new Capital City High... More >>
17 hours ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 9:55:00 AM CST December 11, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The agreement between the Jefferson City School District and the city will reimburse the school district up... More >>
19 hours ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 7:30:00 AM CST December 11, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 47°
4am 39°
5am 37°
6am 34°
7am 30°