Angels In Our Midst

Angels In Our Midst

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Angels in our Midst (Be the Match)

Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 01:43 PM CDT
PENSACOLA, Fla. -- This past Friday, WEAR held our first "Be the Match" bone marrow donor registry drive.
When the Be the Match Southeast Regional Recruiter came to Pensacola, she said that 40 was a large number for drive registrations, so we set our goal at 40.
We wanted to let you know how we stacked up to other communities when we put out the call to the Angels in our Midst.
It was an educational process with the help of our media partners and Lamar Outdoor Advertising.  An unassuming and somewhat reluctant 16-year-old poster child was also learning a lesson, when god gives you a test, you use it as a testimony to help someone else.  A message reinforced by an American hero who definitely knows.  

Dustin Tuller, Iraq War Veteran;  "This is just another way of giving back.  Miles is just a great kid and I've grown fond of him.  And even if I'm not a match for Miles, I'll be a match for somebody hopefully and I can still continue the cycle of giving back."

People starting registering and doing their simple cheek swabs early on a cold, windy and damp morning.  They would stream in throughout the day.  A diverse group representative of the need for marrow donors; it transcends race, ethnicity, religion, social status; all the boundaries.  It is an international, a national and a community need.  And, as always,  this community responded.  The call even came from the pulpit.

Rev. Lu Timothy May, Friendship Baptist Church;  "They may be the potential match for the need that may be out there for some child or some adult that may need a donor. You never know the difference you can make in the life of someone and it could be life or death."

For some, there is a personal connection.  The story of the teen on the billboard and posters, hit home.

Candy , Cat Country 98.7  "My mom died from acute myeloid leukemia in 1987 and uuhhmm ... And bone marrow would have helped her.  And I know it's going to help so many others and I think it's wonderful."

One of the biggest challenges was breaking through the misunderstanding and misinformation about the donor process.  It is non-invasive and virtually pain free for the donor.  Still, someone with a connection could explain it best.  Candace Clement was a donor for a child in 1996.

Candace Clement, Bone Marrow Donor;  "By far one of the most rewarding things I've done in my life.  It's amazing to say that I saved a life."

Fans at the Blue Wahoos game were signing up for a chance to save a life.  Many who were not candidates to to be donors, made financial donations.  As for be the match's outside goal of 40 registrants, Pensacola is at 163 and counting.  To all of you who made that commitment to people you don't even know, we say "thank you."

Angels in our Midst brought to you by Sacred Heart Children's Hospital.Angels in our Midst (Be the Match)

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