By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.
ONE FEATHER STAFF
Two health events are scheduled at Cherokee High School on Thursday, Aug. 30 that will benefit those in need. The school will play host to a blood drive and a bone marrow registry drive from 8:30am – 7:30pm in the auxillary gym.
The event is being held in memory and honor of the late Trooper Shawn Blanton, the first EBCI tribal member to become a North Carolina State Highway Trooper.
“I know Shawn being the type of person that he was, anytime he would try to help someone, and getting on the bone marrow registry is another way of reaching out to help someone,” said Aneva Hagberg, EBCI Health and Medical Division health operations director who is helping with Thursday’s event.
She said having the event at the high school is a good way to get young people involved in the registry. “It is really crucial to get the students involved. Most of our kids up there are Native so that would just help to increase the number of Native Americans on the registry.”
Hagberg related that only 1 percent of the current registry is Native American.
To join the registry, you will need to be between the ages of 18-60, meet the health guidelines and be willing to donate to anyone. Possible donors must meet height and weight criteria and cannot have any of the following conditions according to information from the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP):
* HIV or risk for HIV
* Hepatitis or risk for HIV
* Most forms of heart disease or cancer
* Diabetes requiring insulin or diabetes-related health issues
* Diseases that affect blood clotting or bleeding
* Recent back surgery or severe or ongoing back problems
* Autoimmune/neurological disorders such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis or multiple sclerosis
* Being an order or marrow transplant recipient
* Significant obesity
* Current sleep apnea
Many donors are concerned that the marrow donation process is extremely painful. Information from NMDP states that the donation process is done under general or regional anesthesia so the process itself is painless. “Discomfort and side effects vary from person to person. Most marrow donors experience some side effects after donation. Common side effects of marrow donation include: lower back pain, fatigue, stiffness when walking, and bleeding at the collection site.”
To participate in the blood drive, contact Frances Hess 554-5000, and to participate in the bone marrow registry drive, contact Hagberg 497-7450 or firstname.lastname@example.org.