Here’s some info on how to schedule a marrow drive. It’s really easy to do!!
1. Find a location where you can set up a couple of tables and a few chairs. Location is preferably indoors or at least covered. It’s best if you know if a large gathering of some sort is going to happen where a lot of people will turn up. An office, school, university are also all good places. Make sure you check the venue first and ensure the organizers are giving you a table.
2. Contact the appropriate agencies for your state / county / country and set up a date and time with them.
In the UK, Anthony Nolan will send a dedicated person if you can pre-schedule 50 people. If you are planning on asking a large number of people to just show up at a particular time, you will need at least 3 people to help you: 1 to welcome and pass out the registration paperwork, 1 to look over the paperwork and ensure it is filled in properly and that the person is indeed eligible to donate (age and certain health issues can preclude you), and 1 to get the slide sample. Devan has a dedicated bone marrow drive coordinator at Anthony Nolan. Please contact for more info.
3. Campaign about the drive in the local community. Send out emails, put printed flyers and posters in high traffic areas. See PDF flyer below.
4. Have a few people help you during the drive when people show to sign up. Remember that if you choose to do a drive at a social event where people are eating and drinking, you need to have people drink water / rinse their mouth before they give their sample.
5. During the drive, talk to interested people and explain the situation to them.
“You might have heard about Devan in the press or online. He has leukemia, it’s a type of blood cancer. The best hope for his survival is to find a bone marrow or cord blood donor. But the chances of a match are so rare, mostly because there are so few multiethnic people in the database. That’s why we are doing this drive right here. So we can sign up as many POTENTIAL donors as possible. The registration process is extremely simple. All you have to do is fill out a form and give a sample of your saliva. It will take 10 minutes of your personal time but you could actually save a child’s life. There’s no cost involved. It’s a pure donation. All it costs is a little bit of your personal time.”
Some Handy Facts to Tell People
– If talking to someone who is Chinese or Indian – While both these countries have huge populations, neither has a bone marrow registry, so when a Chinese or Indian child gets sick, they have to come to the global directory and find matches in Western countries. When a Caucasian looks for a match, they have about 15 matches. Those from ethnic or multiethnic backgrounds have perhaps 1 match or no match at all.
– This can happen to anyone at any age and god forbid you should get into a similar situation. Then you or a loved one would depend on this registry.