Marrow drive at speedway July 23

The National Marrow Donor Program, run locally through the Rock River Valley Blood Center (RRVBC), will host a memorial bone marrow drive and information booth at the Rockford Speedway from 5 to 7 p.m., Friday, July 23.

The drive is in memory of John Eschen, a Rockford man who lost his battle with cancer while waiting for a bone marrow match. His wife, Jan Eschen, and colleagues from the National Marrow Donor Program are coordinating this event in partnership with the Rockford Speedway.

Julie Tilbury, RN, National Marrow Donor Program coordinator for RRVBC, will be on hand to provide information and assist those interested in joining the registry. There is a financial commitment involved when someone becomes a part of the NMDP Registry. However, the cost for the first 35 people to join the registry will be offset by funds raised at the First Annual Red Shoe Run this past April.

The mission of the National Marrow Donor Program is to extend and improve life through innovative stem cell therapies. NMDP is a nonprofit organization that facilitates life-saving blood stem cell transplants for patients who do not have a donor in their family. They provide the products and services that bring patients and donors together through life-saving technology. They manage the world’s largest registry of volunteer stem cell donors and cord blood units. They are also working to increase access to transplantation through research, advocacy, and public and professional education.

RRVBC is the sole supplier of blood and related services to OSF Saint Anthony, Rockford Memorial, SwedishAmerican, Beloit Memorial, Edgerton Memorial Community, Freeport Health Network, Harvard Memorial, Northwest Suburban Community and Rochelle Community hospitals. Community-minded volunteers donate virtually all of this country’s supply of blood for transfusion.

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