KUSA - Christina Schnese learned in 2010 that she had acute myeloid leukemia. Within days, she was in the hospital and needing a stem cell transplant. Everyone in her family was tested, but no one was a match.
There is no match within the family for 70 percent of the patients. Schnese has Hispanic heritage, so she had an even smaller chance, around 10 percent, of finding a donor through the national bone marrow registry.
Luckily, Dianne, a nurse in Massachusetts had signed up for the registry on a whim. She proved to be a match for Schnese. Dianne donated her stem cells to Schnese in a procedure that's similar to a plasma or blood donation. Thanks to that donation, Schnese survived acute myeloid leukemia.
Schnese started an organization called Make It Happen USA. It aims to register more people for the bone marrow registry. Schnese and volunteers through her organization attended 44 9Health Fairs this spring and registered about 1,600 potential donors.
You have the chance to sign up for the bone marrow registry and own your health at the last 9Health Fair of this season on Sunday. Free and low-cost health screenings will be available at the 9Health Fair at Fillmore Auditorium on Clarkson St., from 8 a.m. to noon.
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