Laughlin hosts a “Salute to Bone Marrow Donor Registration Fair”

LAUGHLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --

U.S. Air Force Airmen partnered with a national organization, Salute to Life, to host a bone marrow donor registration, at Laughlin AFB, TX., July 17-21.

This drive is intended to boost the national registry numbers to provide more matches between donors and patients.

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Jessica Fleurimond, 47th Security Forces Squadron first sergeant, assisted in getting Laughlin active in raising awareness about the fight against blood cancer and other fatal diseases. Through this campaign she aims to collect 500 registrations from Team XL.

“To join the national registry of bone marrow and stem cell donors, all that is required is a consent form and cheek swab,” said Fleurimond. “There is no cost to join the registry or to donate, [and] the whole process takes only seven minutes.”

According to Fleurimond, the process follows three stages: 1. All donors fill out a registration form and complete four cheek swabs. 2. Once all kits are sent back to the program office, they are vetted and placed into the national registry. 3. If matched to a patient, the donor will be contacted by the registry and notified of a match.

Ms. Dorothy Thomas, 47th Force Support Squadron chief of unit training, decided to register so she can lend a hand to those in need.

“I have two boys,” said Thomas. “If they were ever in a situation where their health required this service, I would hope that there would be someone out there that would be a good match for them.  In turn, I'd feel blessed to help someone in need.”

Fleurimond had similar thoughts when she began setting up the event. She said the program is important to her because there are people in need that will now have a fighting chance with the donations given.

Since the program’s founding in 1991, more than 750,000 people have been committed to the cause.

Anybody 18 to 60 years old with proper Department of Defense identification can register and participate in this week-long training at the Laughlin Branch Exchange, commissary and Anderson Hall from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. that have a

For further information, visit the Salute to Life website at www.salutetolife.org/Join.html or contact Master Sgt. Jessica Fleurimond at (830)298-4721.