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NEWS | Sept. 26, 2008

Lackland bone marrow donor drive continues

By Meredith Canales 37th Training Wing Public Affairs

This year's bone marrow drive has been a success, with more than 2,000 swabs from potential donors already collected. 

"We advertised the drive for last week only but have gotten a lot of interest from the points of contact in continuing since we were not able to carry out all the drive tables we had planned for because of the hurricane," said Maj. Rachelle Hartze, who coordinated Lackland's effort. 

Major Hartze said the interest in the drive could lead to more lives being saved in the long run. 

"For every 300 personnel who register at least one person will be identified as a potential life-saving donor," she said. 

Sitting at just more than 2,000 swabs, Lackland is very close to this year's record for most swabs collected. 

"The Air Force record currently belongs to Wright Patterson AFB, Ohio, which collected 2,574 swabs in March," said Major Hartze. "We want to keep going until we beat this year's record." 

She said there's been a lot of interest from higher authorities in making the bone marrow drive an ongoing program at Lackland. 

"The DOD Bone Marrow Donor Drive Coordinator from the White House Military Office is really pleased with the interest in continuing the donor registration drive at Lackland," said Major Hartze. "She is coming to Lackland today for a meeting at the 37th Medical Group to discuss continuing the program with several of the POCs." 

Though all POCs have done an excellent job collecting, said Major Hartze, one particular staff sergeant has stood out from the pack. 

"Staff Sgt. Ryan Miller from the 343rd Training Squadron and his team have collected more than 1,000 swabs for registration," she said. "He is also a marrow donor. Not just registered, but an actual donor."