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WVU Medicine Camden Clark to host Be the Match stem cell screening at the Grand Central Mall

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) – WVU Medicine Camden Clark Medical Center is hosting a Be the Match stem cell screening opportunity for community members on November 19, 2022 at the Grand Central Mall.

The event will run from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM by Boot Barn and Books-A-Million.

On November 18, 2022, WVU Medicine Camden Clark held its own Be the Match employee stem cell screening as part of its Thank You for Appreciating Employees Campaign in the Month of November.

Katie Drinks, an EMT, signed up for Be the Match 10 years ago in Maryland and got a call in July that she was a match for someone.

“They called me in July, but I didn’t answer because it was a Minnesota phone number and I didn’t recognize the phone number,” Drinks said. “They emailed me that same day and told me I was a match for someone, so I called them back and told them I would donate.

After a full-body physical, a vein test, and blood tests, 60 days later, Katie received permission to donate bone marrow. In the days leading up to donation day, Katie received injections to stimulate white blood cells from the bone marrow in preparation for donation.

In October, Katie traveled to Cincinnati for her donation. Katie said she was nervous because 10 years ago she was a different person with a different job. She thanks WVU Medicine Camden Clark and the Ritchie County Ambulance Authority for letting her take time off from work.

Katie said she always wanted to give back to the community and would donate again in a heartbeat.

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“My family, they were all involved in the fire department when I was younger, so I just grew up with it, and it was just a thing to do,” Drinks said. “So I would say my career as a phlebotomy specialist and EMT, like knowing what I know now about the need for blood and blood products. I mean, that was a big part of why I did it. I mean, it feels good to help people.”

Here’s how you can help by attending a screening event or joining the Be the Match registry:

· To join the Be the Match Registry, persons must be between the ages of 18 and 40.

· It only takes three minutes to complete the online registration form and 30 seconds to wipe your cheek.

· Be the Match tests the kit and adds you to the register as a potential donor.

· You only donate your stem cells if you are called up as a match for an individual patient.

· Donation is FREE. All travel, meals and hotel costs for the donor and one companion are covered by Be the Match. All medical costs are covered by the patient’s insurance or by Be the Match.

For more information about Be the Match, please visit bethematch.org

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