Great aunt seeks bone marrow donors

Monday, May 5th 2008, 10:59 pm
By: News 9

By Stacey Cameron, NEWS 9

Every 15 minutes someone is diagnosed with a disease requiring a bone marrow transplant, according to the Bone Marrow Foundation. And according to the foundation, most of those recipients rely on a stranger for the donation.

Belinda Bedell, a teacher at Yukon High School, is looking for the perfect match to help save 6-month-old Granton Bayless, her great nephew.

Bayless suffers from SCIDs disease, a rare immunodeficiency disorder that makes the young boy prone to infections.

Bedell organized a bone marrow donor drive at Yukon High to help find Bayless a match.

"What's really neat is if they can find a bone marrow match for him, it's actually a cure," Bedell said.

Bedell said there is a myth that testing to become a bone marrow donor is painful.

"Just a little cheek swab," Bedell said. "You rub it against your cheek as if you were brushing your teeth."

One donor hopeful, Michelle Fry, said the only difficult part of the test was filling out the paper work.

Over 400 people volunteered to be tested on Monday. So many people wanted to be donors for Bayless that Bedell had to turn people away after she ran out of the test packets.

Everyone who did get tested joined the bone marrow donor list. If they are not a match for Bayless, they could be a match for someone else in the nation.

The drive will continue Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.