DDHS senior hosting bone marrow registry drive

David Vegter

David Vegter

Kudos to DDHS senior David Vegter, who is hosting a bone marrow registry drive at DDHS later this month!

The Janesville Gazette had an article (below) explaining Vegter’s personal goal of having people give the gift of life.

Here are the quick details:

IF YOU GO

  • What: Bone marrow registry drive
  • When: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 16.
  • Where: Delavan-Darien High School commons, 324 Beloit St., Delavan.
  • Cost: Donating is free for people ages 18 to 44.
  • For more information: Contact davidvegter2359@gmail.com

Delavan-Darien student to host bone marrow registry drive

DELAVAN—Here’s an easy New Year’s resolution: Give the gift of life.

All it takes is a quick swipe of the cotton swab.

From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 16, Delavan-Darien High School senior David Vegter, 18, will host a bone marrow registry drive.

For Vegter, the event is personal.

His mother, Lisa Vegter, was diagnosed with leukemia in 2006.

Rounds of chemotherapy followed the diagnosis, and a rare platelet disorder complicated transfusions.

Then came remission but with a caveat: To increase her chance of survival, she needed a bone marrow transplant.

None of her nine siblings were matches.

Instead, the stem cells—which the bone marrow develops into red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets—had to come from a donor.

A bone marrow registry found a woman in Germany who was a match, and for the past eight years, Lisa Vegter has been cancer free.

The idea for the bone marrow drive came as Vegter was brainstorming community service projects to put on his applications for scholarships.

“When I heard about the bone marrow registry drive, I was thrilled,” he said.

He could raise awareness of the bone marrow registry and perhaps help save someone else’s life—just as his mother’s was saved.

His father, Eugene Vegter, and mother traveled to Germany to meet her donor.

“They said it felt like she was family,” David Vegter said.

Vegter is working with Bethematch.com, a part of the National Marrow Donor Program. Anyone ages 18 to 44 can donate for free. Donors fill out registration cards, and cotton swabs are used to collect the cells from the inside of their cheeks. Each swab is sealed and sent to the donor program.

Bethematch.com requests donors between 18 and 44 because doctors request that age range more than 90 percent of the time. The range is based on the rate of transplant success.

Older people can donate, but the cost is $100 per person.

Here are a few facts about bone marrow donation:

— Donors are placed on the National Marrow Donation Program Registry. Every day, more than 6,000 people search the registry for a matching donor.

— If a donor is selected as a suitable match, he or she is asked to donate either bone marrow or blood cells. The chance of being an actual donor is about 1 in 540.

— A consenting donor must get a physical exam to determine if the donation process would pose a risk to his or her health or the recipient’s health.

For more information about bone marrow donation, visit the National Marrow Donor Program’s website, marrow.org.

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