Monday, July 20, 2015

Bone Marrow Registry 2015

Contact:  Linda Hilton, Marrow Representative
Phone:  423-328-7785
Date:  July 20, 2015



Be The Match® and Blood Assurance, Inc. will hold a marrow donor recruitment drive at the Abingdon Police Department as part of the “Battle of the Badges” blood drive on July 31st, 2015. Interested donors can come by 425 West Main Street, Abingdon to sign up for the marrow registry from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM.

            Each year, an estimated 12,000 persons in the U.S. are diagnosed with life-threatening diseases such as leukemia, lymphoma and aplastic anemia, and their best or only hope of a cure is a transplant from an unrelated donor.   In a bone marrow or blood stem cell transplant, the diseased bone marrow of a patient is replaced with healthy marrow which contains the important small immature cells called blood stem cells.               

            Linda Hilton, Be The Match® Marrow Representative with Blood Assurance, said that in order for a transplant to be successful, the genetic Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) or "tissue type" of the patient must match the tissue type of the donor.   "The unique characteristics or traits of an individual's marrow are inherited, in the same way as hair and eye colors are inherited.  A patient’s most likely match may be another family member, usually a sibling," Hilton said.  

            Most patients (about 70%) in need of a transplant do not have a matching donor in their family.   For thousands of people who do not have a genetically matched relative, the need is critical to find an unrelated donor.  The Be The Match Registry®, which is operated by the National Marrow Donor Program® (NMDP) maintains a database of volunteers who have agreed to donate bone marrow or blood stem cells if ever matched with a patient in need of a transplant.

            In order to join Be The Match Registry as a potential donor, volunteers must be between the ages of 18 and 44 and in good general health.  After completing a registration / consent form and health questionnaire, the volunteer uses a cotton-tip swab to give a sample of check cells.  From the sample of cheek cells, a volunteer's genetic "tissue type" is obtained. This "type" is entered into Be The Match

Registry, and is available for patients around the world as they search for a match

No actual bone marrow or blood stem cells are taken from a volunteer during the donor recruitment drive.
          "Commitment is the key to helping patients.  When you join Be The Match Registry, you are promising to help any patient in need, anywhere in the world,” said Linda Hilton.  Just as you would want someone to donate to save the life of someone in your family, you need to be willing to donate to save someone else’s family member.   Your choice to give the gift of marrow or blood stem cells may cost a few hours of your time, but its long-term value is priceless.  It gives someone a second chance at life.                

            Be The Match Registry® is operated by the National Marrow Donor Program® (NMDP), a nonprofit organization with more than 25 years of experience in the field of unrelated marrow and blood stem cell transplantation.  The NMDP has facilitated more than 60,000 transplants since operation began in 1987.   


Talking Points
·        Every 3 minutes, someone is diagnosed with a blood cancer.
·        Every year, more than 12,000 patients in the US are diagnosed with life-threatening blood cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma.
·        Be The Match connects patients who have life-threatening blood cancers and other diseases with their donor match for life-saving marrow.
·        A marrow transplant from an unrelated donor (when no family member is a match) may be their best and only hope of a cure.
·        Blood Assurance is your local Be The Match donor center.
·        To join the Be The Match Registry:
1.   Be in good health.
2.   Be between the ages of 18-44.
3.   Complete a Consent Form and collect cheek swabs to get your HLA (Human Leukocyte Antigen) tissue typing.
4.   COMMIT to being available for any patient who may need a transplant now or in the future.
·        Patients with diverse ancestry have a harder time finding a donor. Donors with diverse heritage are especially needed. 
·        If you are possible match for a patient after joining, Blood Assurance staff from our marrow department will contact you.  Education about future steps will be provided and blood samples may need to be drawn for additional testing.
·        There are 2 ways to donate: 
1.   PBSC (peripheral blood stem cells) donation is non-surgical and the most common way to donate today.  You receive a drug that increases the number of blood stem cells in the blood stream.  The blood stem cells are collected in the same way as a platelet donation procedure, called apheresis.
2.   Marrow donation is an outpatient surgical procedure performed under general anesthesia.  Bone marrow is removed from the back of the hips from inside the bones, using a special needle and syringe.  Less than 5% of your marrow is removed. Your marrow regenerates within 6 weeks.
·        Donor expenses are paid by Be The Match and patient’s insurance.
Help us Save a Life!

"Battle of the Badges" Blood Drive 2015

On Friday, July 31, two Eagle Scout candidates from Boy Scout Troop 222 in Abingdon are joining forces with Abingdon Fire and Police departments, as well as Washington County Sheriff’s and Life Saving Crew departments for a historical “Battle of the Badges” blood drive and bone marrow registry drive. The Abingdon Police Department, located at 425 W. Main St., Abingdon, VA 24210, will host the drives between the hours of 10 a.m. until 7 p.m.

“We are proud to partner with Blood Assurance for the ‘Battle of the Badges’ blood drive. We hope that this event will challenge members of our agency, as well as other first responders, to donate blood to help save lives. Blood donations are a small effort that can have a lifelong impact on the receiver and the donor,” said Abingdon Police Chief, Tony Sullivan.

“A few years ago, my cousin was diagnosed with an extremely rare autoimmune disease. He underwent a bone marrow transfusion, which gave him a shot at life,” said Luke Icenhour, Eagle Scout candidate.  “Unfortunately, my cousin lost the battle of his life last year. Through this experience, I learned a great deal about the importance of the ‘Be the Match Registry.’ Because of this registry program, every day, individuals are waking up free of their life-consuming diseases. Although this was not the case for my cousin, I want to make sure that there is a match for as many individuals as possible. Please signup to be someone’s hero. It is easy and pain free.”

“We encourage the community to show their support for their local life-saving heroes and hopeful Eagle Scouts,” said Whit Morison, Blood Assurance Donor Recruiter. “The simple gift of blood is precious and irreplaceable. We cannot manufacture any product that replaces what is found in your blood donation. Each whole blood donation has the power to save 3 lives.”

On July 16, Chattanooga was rocked by a horrific tragedy leading to the loss of 5 service members.  Blood Assurance not only supplies our local hospitals but also Chattanooga area hospitals. After this tragedy, Blood Assurance experienced a massive utilization of their emergency blood and needs your help to replenish the reserves.

All blood types are needed. Donors with O-negative blood type are especially encouraged to donate as O-negative is the universal blood type, given to patients in an emergency situation when their own blood type is unknown.

Blood donors must be at least 17 years old (16 years old with parental consent), weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good health. The process usually takes about 30 minutes and includes a complimentary snack and a special “Battle of the Badges” t-shirt. Donors should eat a healthy meal and drink plenty of fluids -avoiding caffeine- prior to giving blood. 

Please direct any questions to Whit Morison, 276-525-4273.


Monday, July 13, 2015

Attempted 2nd Degree Murder Arrest 7-12-15

Abingdon Police Department
 For Immediate Release

On Sunday, July 12th, at approximately 10:42 p.m., Abingdon Police officers responded to the 100 block of A Street in reference to an assault of an unknown nature. Upon arrival, officers observed a person matching the suspect description walking at the intersection of A Street and Court Street.

Responding officers approached the suspect on foot and noted that the suspect’s demeanor was combative.  Officers instructed the suspect raise his arms and show his hands. He did so briefly; however, upon being asked to step down to street level and go down to his knees the suspect became agitated and lowered his hands toward a heavily loaded white shopping bag at his side. After several requests to comply, officers took physical control of the suspect in order to secure him in hand cuffs. The suspect was identified as Keith A. Robinson, 33, of 241 Highland Street, Abingdon.

Further investigation revealed that Robinson assaulted the victim, Mary Ross, with a knife. Ross, 54 YOA, stated Robinson, wanted to go for a walk around 10:30 p.m. She said they walked to the Virginia Creeper Trail where he suddenly grabbed her hair and pulled her neck back in an attempt to cut her throat. Ross was able to fight and escape from Robinson and call 9-1-1.  Ross was treated for injuries by the Washington County Life-Saving Crew.

Robinson was charged with one count of Attempted 2nd Degree Murder, in violation of § 18.2-32 of the code of Virginia; two counts of Assault and Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer, in violation of § 18.2-57 of the code of Virginia; and one count of Obstructing Justice, in violation of § 18.2-460 of the code of Virginia. Robinson is being held without bond at the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail.