Be a Match: Bone Marrow Registry drive scheduled to help local boy

Kyan Macdonald

Kyan Macdonald

Kyan Macdonald of Bridgton is a fifth-grader who is “near and dear” to the hearts of many, including Travis Dube and Beth Chagrasulis of Bridgton Academy and Kayleigh Lepage.

When the threesome heard the sad news that Kyan has leukemia, they wanted to show support for the Stevens Brook Elementary School youngster and his family by organizing a Bone Marrow Registry Drive.

They connected with Be The Match and scheduled a drive next Saturday, June 18, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Stevens Brook Elementary.

“Kyan is a strong, amazing, talented, athletic, kind-hearted kid who has been fighting this disease for a little time now. He has good days, but mostly bad days,” Lepage said. “But even through the bad days, Kyan still has a smile on his face.”

Be The Match is a group of donors, volunteers, health care professionals and researchers who provide cures by helping patients get the bone marrow or umbilical cord blood transplant that they need. A little information about it:

  • You must be between the ages of 18-44 to donate bone marrow, however, your bone marrow is in the registry until you are between 60-65 years of age.
  • To donate bone marrow, it’s just a simple four Q-tip cheek swab so it does not require any pain and allows little effort.
  • It takes 10 minutes maximum to donate your bone marrow.

“I myself am on the registry for Be The Match and have been for about two years now. I have not been called yet, considering it takes awhile to find someone with your exact match, however, if I do get called, I will most definitely accept the position to help someone in need,” Lepage added.

Some Be The Match facts:

  • Every three minutes someone is diagnosed with a blood cancer.
  • Seventy percent of patients do not have a fully-matched donor in their family. They depend on Be The Match. Be The Match facilitates more marrow and cord blood transplants every year, including nearly 6,400 transplants in 2015, for a total of 74,000 transplants since 1987.
  • The Be The Match Registry® is the world’s largest and most diverse donor registry. It has more than 13.5 million potential marrow donors and more than 225,000 cord blood units on the Be The Match Registry. Every search through the organization provides patients with access to nearly 27 million potential donors and more than 680,000 cord blood units on the Be The Match Registry and global registries worldwide.
  • A patient’s likelihood of having a matched, available donor on the Be The Match Registry ranges from 66% to 97%, depending on their ethnic background.
  • A patient’s likelihood of having at least one matched umbilical cord blood unit on the Be The Match Registry ranges from 81% to 99%, depending on their ethnic background.

Another fundraiser planned is a bottle drive with all proceeds going to help Kyan’s family — he is the son of Bill and Binaca Macdonald. The bottle drive is this Saturday, June 11 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Bridgton Academy parking lot.

For more information about the bone marrow drive or the bottle drive, contact Kayleigh Lepage at klepage15@gmail.com

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