Contact: David Jwanier, media relations associate, 610-740-3790


ALLENTOWN,PA (March 31, 2009)—The Nursing Program at Cedar Crest College will hold a Bone Marrow Donation Drive on Friday, April 17, at 12 p.m. in the Tompkins College Center on campus. The drive—which will test participants for inclusion in the National Marrow Donor Program Registry for possible future donation—was initiated by nursing student Liz Clymer, after she met a one-year-old boy suffering from childhood leukemia who needed a bone marrow transplant, while working in the pediatrics unit of Lehigh Valley Hospital last fall.

“I kind of felt bad for him and one day I went home and googled about bone marrow transplants. I knew about childhood leukemia, but I had no idea how difficult it is to find a (bone marrow) match,” said Clymer, who was employed as a social worker before her current position as a student nurse in the emergency room at Lehigh Valley Hospital. She will move on to the ICU after graduation in May. “When you think of how much he has had to endure, he’s survived a lot. He was such a cute little boy, everyone in our clinical rotation would see him and play with him. He just warmed your heart.”

Bone marrow is like blood in that one type does not fit all—though it is typically easier to match those who belong to the same racial and ethnic groups. In the case of the young boy, who is African American and currently in foster care, it’s much more likely that his bone marrow will be compatible with someone who is also African American, but Clymer and Cedar Crest College Nursing Instructor Roseann Flyte are hoping the bone marrow drive will attract donors of all backgrounds to help the approximately seven million people in need of a transplant.

 “We really need to get the community involved in this program. The more people who are willing to donate their bone marrow, the more lives we can potentially save,” said Clymer, of Bethlehem, who will graduate with her B.S. in Nursing.

The cost for bone marrow testing during this drive is $25, which is about half of the usual cost, with no fee for minority participants. Cash or checks to The Marrow Foundation are accepted. For information on the Bone Marrow Donation Drive call 610-606-4606.




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