Bone Marrow Donor: ” I’d Do It Again” 

Employees at Eastern Maine Medical Center Cancer Care are hoping to save even more lives this weekend. They need a lot of help to get it done, and all it takes is a swab of your cheek. ” About every 4 to 6 minutes somebody is diagnosed with blood cancer and about every 10 to 12 minutes, somebody dies from it,” explained Brenda Clements, a nurse manager at Cancer Care of Maine. The statistics were enough to convince Chris Roberts to join the donor registry. ” They told me the odds were I would never be called,” said Roberts. Roberts joined the Bone Marrow Donor Registry in 2011. He never thought he would be a match, but he was. ” I like to be helpful and try to be there when people are in the most need. It made sense for me to do this,” said Roberts, who is a volunteer firefighter and EMT in Plymouth. The reality is, many people on the list, will never be a match, and many people in need of a donation, will never get one. ” The possibility of a match is about 1 in 20,000, so you need a very big pool of donors,” said Clements. Last year during a donor drive in Brewer, 209 people signed up. Only one of those people has been called to be a donor. For Roberts, he can’t imagine not doing what he did. ” It was well worth it in the end and I’d do it again. If they’d let me do it more than once, I’d do that, too,” said Roberts. You’re only allowed to donate twice in your life, so if Roberts is a match again, he can donate one more time. ” I think as a human being that’s one of the most important things you can do, is be out there to help your fellow humans,” said Roberts. There’s a bone marrow donor drive Saturday, August 17th during the EMMC Champion the Cure Challenge. There will be a booth set up for people to sign up at the Lafayette Family Cancer Center in Brewer. You must be 18 to 55 years old to be a donor and you will remain in the registry until you are 61. For more information, call Brenda Clements at 973-8810.