Children's of Alabama hosts a bone marrow donor reunion between a 14-year-old Children's cancer patient and the Missouri man who saved his life. It's part of the Committed to a Cure Marrow Donor Registry Drive. The event – hosted by the Alabama Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children's of Alabama and its partner, the Be the Match bone marrow donor registry – will be held in Children's Russell Building Performance Room at 1601 5th Avenue South. Parking is free to anyone who participates. Donors must be between the ages of 18-44. Times are noon till 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 30, and 7 a.m. till 5 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 31. 14-year-old Payton Ray of Odenville and his family will meet Brent Mueller of St. Charles, Missouri. Meuller donated his bone marrow to Ray in 2015 thus allowing Ray to have a successful marrow transplant in September of that same year. Ray is the son of Robert and Joy Ray.
Bone marrow transplant is a life-saving procedure, and in many cases, the only cure for a child with cancer. Bone marrow transplant can be used to treat those with cancers, including leukemia and lymphoma, blood disorders such as sickle cell disease, or severe immune disorders. Children's treats 30-40 children every year who are in need of a bone marrow transplant. When a child needs a bone marrow transplant from another person, only about 10 percent are able to find a suitable donor in their families. That means that doctors must turn to the registry the other 90 percent of the time. Enrolling on the registry is easy – participants between the ages of 18-44 have a cheek swab performed. Afterwards, their name is added to the National Marrow Donor Program registry, which currently has about 10 million people in it. Find out more information at www.childrensal.org/committedtoacure.
Copyright 2017 WBRC. All rights reserved.