People Sign Up For Bone Marrow Registry At JCC


A 14 year old Watertown girl suffering from leukemia needs a bone marrow transplant.

On Wednesday, 40 people signed up during a bone marrow registry at Jefferson Community College.

The "Be The Match" registry will try to locate someone to help Alyson Stiles.

Stiles, who is of Native American heritage, was first diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia as a toddler.

Her cancer went into remission twice, but she learned last fall it was back.

Stiles is currently being treated at Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital in Syracuse.

Of the 10 million people signed up for the Be The Match registry, only 1 percent are Native American.

What we're trying to do is certainly register those potentially who have possibly Caucasion and Native American ancestry, but really anyone who's interested in donating, because while maybe they're not necessarily a match for Miss Stiles, they could be a match for some other person," said Michael Garbin of Be The Match.

The bone marrow donor drive consists of a simple cheek swab.

Donors must be in good health, between the ages of 18 and 44 years old, and willing to donate to any patient in need.

Donors with diverse racial or ethnic backgrounds are especially needed as patients in need of a transplant are most likely to match someone who shares their same race or ethnicity. 

Be The Match is operated by the National Marrow Donor Program, a nonprofit organization that matches patients with donors, educates health care professionals and conducts research.

For more information about the organization, visit

Sunday, December 4, 2016
, Watertown, NY

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