Residents who want to join the national bone marrow registry will be able to help save lives during the Be the Match Swab-a-Thon from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. today.
The sites are at Pioneer Chevrolet, Peoples Bank on Putnam Street in Marietta and the Marietta Memorial Hospital Belpre Campus Strecker Cancer Center lobby. Medical personnel and volunteers will take cheek swabs.
The cheek swabs are used to identify blood and tissue matches. Participants will have their information put into the national bone marrow registry, according to Marshall Brown, account executive for Be the Match, the national bone marrow program, in Columbus.
Brown said there are 73 different diseases that are helped with a bone marrow transplant. Between 10,000 and 11,000 people nationwide are looking for a match, she said.
The biggest issue for those needing a bone marrow transplant is that only one in three patients will match a family member, she said. This means roughly two-thirds of those in need of a transplant have to go through the national bone marrow registry.
Those who are considering joining the drive are reminded they must be committed to donate, Brown said. By being told you are a match for someone, you are being asked to save their life, he added.
The Marietta Times, Parkersburg News and Sentinel, Pioneer Chevrolet and Family Ford along with Memorial Health System, Peoples Bank, WMOA and Clear Channel have joined forces to sponsor the Be the Match Swab-a-Thon.