Webster nonprofit registering bone marrow donors
Christopher’s Challenge is honoring National Marrow Awareness Month throughout November by encouraging people to consider becoming a bone marrow donor.
The Webster-based nonprofit established a contactless kit drop-off option during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The way we traditionally hold bone marrow drives in person had to be halted this year due to COVID-19,” Chairperson Kathy Costello said. “We’ve pivoted to offer a safe, contactless way for individuals between the ages of 18-55 to be typed by dropping off kits at their doorsteps. Once completed, they call us and we pick up the kits and mail them for processing.”
The process consists of health questions and a cheek swab. Once the kit is completed and processed, individuals are placed on the registry until they are 60 and will be contacted by the national registry if they are a potential match.
Christopher’s Challenge is working with the Bone Marrow Unit at the URMC Wilmot Cancer Institute. At the onset of the pandemic, no visitors were allowed into the unit and patients were left without face-to-face communication. Christopher’s Challenge purchased tablets for every room on the unit, enabling patients to communicate with their loved ones.
Christopher’s Challenge also delivered meals for patients, families, doctors and nurses over the past seven months. The organization will continue to deliver meals to the unit once a month, including a Thanksgiving dinner for patients, family members and staff.
Visit christopherschallenge.org for information.