Leawood blood drive aims to recruit bone marrow donors - KCTV5

Leawood blood drive aims to recruit bone marrow donors

Posted: Updated:
Laura Holler was diagnosed with leukemia and having a stem cell transplant was her only chance of survival. Laura Holler was diagnosed with leukemia and having a stem cell transplant was her only chance of survival.
LEAWOOD, KS (KCTV) -

A 24-year-old Johnson County woman has been in a fight for her life since last Christmas.

Laura Holler was diagnosed with leukemia and having a stem cell transplant was her only chance of survival. 

However, she had no immediate bone marrow match. But after searching for months, she finally got one.

There are millions of people all over the world waiting to for a match and who rely on blood transfusions to stay alive until they find one.

For many, an upcoming blood drive is more than spending 15 minutes in a chair, getting poked and giving a pint. It is about saving a life - and finding a cure.

The Community Blood Bank is partnering with Be The Match at the Church of Resurrection.

When people give blood, they can also enter the national bone marrow donor program - a program helping people like Holler beat leukemia. 

Holler is in the hospital recovering from a stem cell transplant.

"So some little boy born eight years ago in North Carolina ... the mother donated the umbilical cord and those are the stem cells that she received," Doug Lapham said.

When the body of 6-year-old Clara Peters, a poster child of Be The Match, stopped making blood, she needed 14 blood transfusions to stay alive.

Luckily her older sister was a perfect match.

"Most of the time siblings do not match. It's about 25 to 30 percent chance of having a sibling match at all ... for anyone. So that means most people rely on bone marrow registry to find their match. And we know we were very lucky, very fortunate," Jessica Peters said.

Less than a year after being diagnosed, Clara had her stem cell transplant.

"Well, I'm feeling pretty good," Clara said.

And her sister feels pretty good too.

"It was like nothing happened," Ellie Peters said.

And signing up is just as easy.

Potential donors just need to swab the inside of their mouth. Anyone in good health between the ages of 18 to 44 can do it.

After swabbing all four corners of their mouth for 10 seconds, simply send in the results. There is only one in 560 chances that it will be a match. And if there is a match, it could be someone's cure.

Anyone can stop by on your way to work, after work or anytime in between. The blood and bone marrow drive is at 137th Street and Roe Boulevard from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.)  All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow
KCTV 5 News

Online Public File:
KCTV  KSMO

Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2014, KCTV; Kansas City, MO. (A Meredith Corporation Station) and WorldNow. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.