Blood and Marrow Registry Drives will be held Jan. 20 and Jan. 22 in hopes of finding a marrow match for Bossier Parish Deputy Barrett Lovell and to continue providing blood for Lovell and other local patients.
The drives will take place on Tuesday, Jan. 20 from 12p.m. to 6p.m. at the Bossier Sheriff’s Viking Drive Substation, 2510 Viking Dr. in Bossier City, La., and on Thursday, Jan. 22 from 9a.m. to 4p.m. at the Shreveport Police Dept., Second Floor Assembly Room, 1234 Texas St. in Shreveport, La.
Lovell, 33 years old, was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia in October 2014. His treatment began immediately with chemotherapy and multiple blood transfusions. However, doctors have told him that to survive leukemia he will need a stem cell transplant.
“It never crossed my mind that I could have cancer. I never had anyone in my family with leukemia, I never even knew anybody. It was a shock to my system, I just kinda went blank,” said Barrett of his diagnosis.
Lovell, like 70% of patients who need a stem cell or marrow transplant, does not have a matching donor in his family; he is relying on a complete stranger to save his life. The National Marrow Donor Program, Be The Match, registers people to see if they could be a donor for those searching patients.
To register with Be The Match, the donor must be between the ages of 18-44, in good physical health and be willing to donate to anyone they match. Registration takes about ten minutes and involves filling out paperwork and four mouth swabs.
“The local law enforcement does so much for our community, and now they are asking the community to step up and help one of their own. Getting residents to donate blood in his honor and sign up for the marrow registry not only improves his chances of survival, but helps others in his honor,” shared Brian Allison, head of LifeShare Blood Centers Marrow Registry Program.
For questions about blood donation or signing up for the marrow registry go to www.lifeshare.org or contact LifeShare’s Marrow Registry Coordinator Brian Allison at 318.673.1534 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
As an affiliate of the National Marrow Donor Program, LifeShare Blood Centers recruits and registers individuals for the Be The Match registry and conducts confirmatory testing on those who have been identified as potential donors. Every day 10,000 patients in the U.S. search the Marrow Registry. More information about the National Marrow Donor Program can be found at: www.BeTheMatch.org
LifeShare Blood Centers regularly supplies blood components to 117 medical facilities throughout Louisiana, East Texas and South Arkansas. Founded in Shreveport, La. in 1942, it is a nonprofit community service provider governed by a volunteer Board of Trustees. LifeShare is a member of America’s Blood Centers and the American Rare Donor Program, is licensed by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration and accredited by AABB