In memory of her grandson, longtime Canyon Lake resident Pam Malcolmson has organized a blood and bone marrow screening drive on Saturday, May 13, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the parking lot behind Pepe’s Mexican Restaurant and Cantina in the Canyon Lake Towne Center. Walk-ins are welcome and donation participants will receive an automatic entry to win a pair of Disneyland tickets.
Pam’s grandson, Trevor Kott, was diagnosed with congenital acute myelogenous leukemia shortly after his birth in October 2006. After initial treatments resulted in remission, the leukemia cells returned in March 2007 and his only chance for survival was a bone marrow transplant. When family and national bone marrow registries failed to produce a match, Pam organized a bone marrow screening on May 16, 2007. Tragically, Trevor succumbed to the disease on April 25, 2007.
Ten years later, Pam scheduled another event, this time through LifeStream, a non-profit comprehensive blood organization. Pam said, “God lead me to do this in memory of Trevor, to honor moms and bring awareness to the cause by organizing another bone marrow drive here in Canyon Lake.” Pam had originally planned for a bone marrow only event as she did in 2007 but was informed by LifeStream that it must include blood donations. LifeStream needs 500 donations per day to meet their annual demand of over 175,000 transfusions.
According to the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), approximately 20,000 people in the U.S. may benefit from a bone transplant annually. The Institute for Justice states on their website that only two percent of the population is registered in the national bone marrow registry, Be The Match. According to the registry, at any given time 7,500 Americans are actively searching Be The Match; only 30 percent of those needing a bone marrow transplant have a matching donor in their families.
Potential bone marrow donors can be screened with a simple swab to the cheek by LifeStream, the only organization in Riverside and San Bernardino counties to partner with Be The Match. According to the Institute for Justice, donating bone marrow is safe: more than 35,000 people have donated to a stranger without a single death.
Pam encourages people planning on attending the blood and bone marrow screening drive to register with LifeStream at lstream.org.
By registering online donors can participate in the LifeStream rewards program, Heart of Gold. Once registered, reward points are earned with each donation. Reward points can be redeemed on LifeStream’s online store for movie theatre tickets, restaurant and gas gift cards.
To become a bone marrow donor people must be between the ages of 18 to 44 and meet specific health guidelines. For those between the ages of 45 to 60, registry can be accepted with a $100 tax deductible contribution. Blood donors must be over the age of 15 of age, donors under the age of 18 are required to have parental consent. A photo identification will be required for anyone wishing to donate.
For more information, contact Pam at 951-244-2926.