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Hundreds swabbed at Be The Match donor drive
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Sydney Wilson and other potential donors fill out forms to see if they’re potential donors for leukemia patient Kelsey Bishop. - photo by NAT GURLEY

More than 400 people swabbed their cheeks Wednesday at East Hall High School during the Be The Match donor drive for Kelsey Bishop, 23, who has acute myeloid leukemia.

Only one of 540 potential donors will be a match for any of the donor foundation’s recipients, said Be The Match recruiter and community developer for Georgia Caitlin Martin on Wednesday evening. Turnaround for the swab samples is two to three weeks, Martin said, and the foundation would first notify Bishop’s doctor.

A match could also come from a different donor drive just as Wednesday’s donors may match someone other than Bishop. Donors and recipient identities are kept confidential except for gender and age, Martin said, although a U.S. donor-recipient pair can communicate and meet each other through the foundation after a year, if both consent.

To cover the $100 per sample cost, Be The Match uses fundraisers such as raffles, a 5K run-walk Saturday at Atlantic Station in Atlanta and the Chick-fil-A fundraiser this past Monday in Gainesville, Martin said. To host a donor drive or fundraiser, contact Martin at cmartin3@nmdp.org, she said, or find more information online at marrow.org and bethematch.org. 

Bishop’s page is at http://www.bethematchfoundation.org/site/TR?px=2491525&fr_id=1960&pg=personal, with a link to her Caring Bridge page there.

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