Make a difference and ‘Be the Match’

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 20, 2014

Each and every day our thoughts, actions and deeds have the potential to make a positive difference in the lives of others. Imagine if each one of us took these words to heart and searched for ways to make a difference in the lives of others in our midst. Finding ways to make a difference does not have to be on a grand scale. Sometimes the simplest of acts can have the greatest impact.
Being a parish nurse for St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, I have the opportunity to minister to members of our church and community. As a member of this Faith Community, I would like to share with you an opportunity that could be a life-saving action for others.
According to statistics, every 4 minutes, one person is diagnosed with a blood cancer. Every 10 minutes, someone dies from a blood cancer. That is more than six people every hour or 148 people every day.
Be The Match is operated by The National Donor Program. It is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to creating an opportunity for all patients to receive the marrow or umbilical cord blood transplant they need.

Being tested to be on the Be The Match Registry is very simple and painless procedure. To qualify to be tested, you need to be between the ages of 18-44. It involves going to a Registry site and having a quick oral swab of the inside of your cheek. You provide them with basic information. The cost for the testing is $100 per person. Because of the generosity of the members of St. Paul’s, funds have been collected for the price of the testing.
Seventy percent of all patients who need a transplant, do not have a matching donor in their family. A patient’s chance of finding a donor on the Be The Match Registry is estimated to range from 76-97 percent, depending on race and ethnicity. I want you to close your eyes and imagine the possibility of one simple swab changing the future of a member of your family. What would you do if the person in need was your child, sister, brother or parent? Do you feel that sense of urgency?

This is personal to me. Chloe Monroe is a member of our congregation here at St. Paul’s. Late last year Chloe was diagnosed with AML, acute myeloid leukemia. Chloe is a 20-year-old sophomore at UNC Chapel Hill. Chloe is a fighter! Her faith in God and strength continues to amaze me. We are standing firm with her believing for a total healing for Chloe.
Chloe has valiantly endured multiple rounds of chemotherapy and is in the process of being donor matched. We are sponsoring “The Chloe Monroe Be The Match Honor Drive.” This drive is to raise awareness of the importance of The Bone Marrow Registry and to honor Chloe!
If you feel that sense of urgency and are ready to make a difference, I invite you to come to St. Paul’s Lutheran Church at 205 St. Paul’s Church Road on Saturday, April 26. St. Paul’s Lutheran is having a day of celebration from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with a Cruise ‘n Barbecue to benefit Steve Holland, who is fighting to win his battle with cancer.
From 1-4 p.m., representatives from Be The Match will be present to assist with the bone marrow drive. We will be very excited for you to join in our celebration. If you have any questions, please contact me at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church at 704-633-0922.

Earnhardt is parish nurse at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church.