Mercy Health - West Hospital Invites You to Swab Your Cheek and Maybe Save a Life at Marrow Donor Drive on April 11

(CINCINNATI; April 7, 2014) – If something that takes you just seconds to do could help you save another person’s life, would you do it? Mercy Health and Robby Tucker’s family hope that you and countless others will say “Yes!” and attend a bone marrow donor drive happening outside the cafeteria located on the lower level of Mercy Health – West Hospital from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on April 11. West Hospital is located at 3300 Mercy Health Blvd., off North Bend Road just south of I-74.

Mercy Health, which provides advanced, quality care with compassion in your neighborhood through its care network, partners with Be The Match, the National Bone Marrow Donor Program, to host bone marrow donor drives. With just a simple swab of the cheek, men and women can join the bone marrow donor registry and find out more about how bone marrow donation can save and extend the lives of people here in Cincinnati and all over the world.

Hoping for a good turnout and a bone marrow match will be members of Team Robby, including Robby’s daughters Noel Helton, an emergency room tech at West Hospital, Ashlee Tucker, an emergency room tech at Mercy Health – Harrison Medical Center, and his wife Tina Tucker, a phlebotomist at Mercy Health – Western Hills Outpatient services.

Robby has aggressive leukemia and needs a bone marrow transplant. A rare antigen in his bone marrow makes finding a match for Robby more difficult so big turnouts at bone marrow drives are crucial to helping him.

“Everyone donates blood. I’d like to see as many people get behind joining the bone marrow registry,” says Noel Helton. “When you realize what a difference getting a simple mouth swab can make in the life of a person and their family and friends, it takes your breath away. Please join us and help us find a match for my Dad and others who need your help.”

“Thousands of patients with blood cancers, such as leukemia and lymphoma, depend on Be the Match’s national marrow donor registry to find a donor who could potentially save their life,” says Registered Nurse Diane Shapiro, RN Transplant Coordinator at Mercy Health’s Blood and Marrow Transplant Center. “We hope that by raising awareness about the importance and need for donors, we will encourage many more people to join the registry.”

Be the Match will swab individuals between the ages of 18-44 at no charge. Donors within this age provide cells and bone marrow that tend to have higher survival rates in recipients.

In addition to the donor drive, the hospital will also collect $1 donations in support of Be The Match.