This year, Life Care Center of Auburn, Massachusetts, has been supporting a different charitable cause each month, and in May, the facility championed bone marrow cancer.
On May 24, 2018, the facility hosted a booth for Be the Match, an organization that helps people register to become bone marrow donors.
Sara Verity, physical therapist assistant, was the inspiration for the month’s event. Her father has survived mantle cell lymphoma, a rare type of non-Hodgkins lymphoma, as well as myelodysplastic syndrome, a secondary blood cancer.
“Having a bone marrow donor saved his life, and I tell everyone I can to register,” said Verity. “My dad has been in remission for about a year and a half because somewhere in this world someone was selfless enough to register. I’m so thankful for that man.”
Fellow therapist Kelly Dumas, occupational therapist assistant, helped organize the event. Associates and visitors could stop by the booth and register to become a potential donor if they chose. Registrants had a cheek swab for a DNA sample to put them in the system to be donors if someone needing a bone marrow transplant is a match. The drive yielded 10 new registrants, while more people took information about how to register online.
Others who were not interested in being potential donors could still get involved, however. They could purchase chances to win a prize basket, as well as learn more about bone marrow transplants and the cancers they treat. The drive raised $150 for Be the Match.
"This drive meant everything to me,” said Verity. “Bone marrow donation gave my dad back his life. He wouldn’t be here taking his grandchildren fishing without it. It was a long, hard road for him, and I’m incredibly proud of his perseverance. Doing this drive was a small way of being able to give back what was given to my family.”