D ozens of people came to the Mattydale American Legion to help save lives and raise awareness for an important cause. The William G. Pomeroy Foundation and Be the Match Registry were looking for people who could be a potential bone marrow for people like Holly Wait. Holly is a Syracuse mother of two who was diagnosed with Leukemia in April.
Crystal Chatraw is one of Holly's sisters and she remembers what she knew about donors before it hit home. "unless it's happening to someone in your life, you kind of don't pay attention to things. But when I found out, I was really sad and emotional," says Chatraw.
There are so many others like Holly suffering from a life-threatening blood disease. Thanks to 60 people who signed up and got their tongues swabbed to become a bone marrow donor, there could be more potential matches for patients with leukemia, lymphoma or sickle cell anemia. The hope is to find more people to make a match and potentially give someone a new lease on life.
Paula Miller is a volunteer with Be the Match Registry. "The turnout so far has been great, it's very encouraging, we just started at four o'clock and we've already had several people through, the entire room was filled. We're hoping that lots more people are going to come out today," says Miller.
Jackie Elemis was out in Mattydale becoming a registered donor, hoping to become a match. "My brother was the recipient of an organ transplant, so I figured if I could return the favor, I'd love to do it," says Elemos. "It was less than 5 minutes from start to finish, it's a little pain, a little discomfort for saving somebody's life."