CLINTON — A unique fundraising and donation opportunity took place this week in the form of a bone marrow drive at Medical Associates.
The drive is the first of its kind in the area and Terry Adolph and Corinna Waidelich are the reasons it came to existence.
After being diagnosed with non-Hodgkins Lymphoma in September 2009, Adolph has searched for a bone marrow donor and come up short each time.
“Terry’s been needing and looking for a match for awhile now so I just said why can’t we do something? Why can’t we host a drive?” Waidelich said.
She then contacted the University of Iowa for information on creating the event and the rest just fell into place.
“Iowa City talked me through how to organize the event and then I enlisted the help from staff and they have been amazing,” Waidelich said. “It has been an amazing day.”
With more than 50 donors showing up to register in the National Bone Marrow Program on Wednesday, Adolph feels overwhelmed with the support he has received.
“I am so pleased to see this turnout today,” Adolph said. “Even if they don’t find my perfect match today, hopefully they find someone’s.
When searching for a bone marrow donor there are 10 specific criteria patients and donors must match. To this point, Adolph has only matched seven of the 10.
According to Adolph’s wife, Deb, there are more than 11 million people registered with the Be The Match program, but they have yet to find his perfect match.
“They check the system every week to see if new people have registered so the more we get today the better,” Deb said.
The event Wednesday did more than register bone marrow donors. The Medical Associates group also hosted a bake sale to help raise money for the cost of testing the samples they receive at the drive.
“It costs $100 to register a donor but they are not obligated to pay that, so we need to raise money to cover those costs,” Medical Associates Registered Nurse Krista Melvin said.
Although the final registration totals and bake sale proceeds are unknown, Waidelich, Melvin and Adolph were overwhelmed with the outpouring of support they received from the community.
“I feel great about today. I’ve got a lot of support from family and friends. Today has just been an awesome day,” Adolph said.
To register with the National Bone Marrow Program or to make donations to the Be The Match organization, visit www.bethematch.org.