A special guest post from Road Tested Living!
I think many people will agree that we enjoy the feeling we get when we are able to do something nice for others. It can brighten up your day when you are able to help someone else out, as well as bring joy to his or her day. Many times, we drivers are under a schedule that may prevent us from stopping and lending aid to someone.
This year at the Great American Truck Show
(GATS) there will be two opportunities that drivers, and those attending the event should be sure to see. The first is the annual Red Cross Blood Drive, organized by the Trucking Solutions Group
(TSG). This annual GATS event allows drivers to take a few moments of their time and give the gift of life. This year the drive will be held in booth number 23080. A big “thank you” goes to the kind folks at Randall-Reilly Publishing for providing this space and their support.
The second event is something that TSG has been working on bringing to GATS for several years. Bone marrow donors are needed desperately to help save the lives of those suffering from leukemia and other blood cancers.
The numbers in the U.S. are staggering, and here are some interesting facts:
Make It Happen USA
Only 2% of the US population is on the bone marrow registry (compared to approximately 60% in most European countries).
If you are Hispanic you have a 10% chance of finding a donor.
If you are African American you have a 7% chance of finding a donor.
If you are Asian American you have a 3% chance of finding a donor.
If you are Native American you have less than a 1% chance of finding a donor.
Every 3 minutes a child or an adult is diagnosed with a blood cancer.
70% of the time, these patients that need a transplant will not find a match within their family.
Leukemia is the most common childhood cancer.
Leukemia causes 40% of all cancer deaths in children under age 15.
was founded by Christina Schnese, a cancer survivor who was fortunate enough to find a bone marrow donor on the registry. Her experience demonstrated the need to increase the pool of donors on the registry, in order to improve the chances of those waiting for a donor. They will have a space set up at GATS to educate people on bone marrow donation, fill out a questionnaire, and to collect a sample with a simple mouth swab.
The Trucking Solutions Group has been interested in adding a bone marrow registry to its GATS event for a number of years. In the past, one of the main things that has prevented hosting the drive was the cost. The donor was expected to pay the cost of processing the test. Make It Happen USA is taking full responsibility of paying for the processing of the tests. There is no cost to the donor for the testing itself nor for the donation of the marrow or stem cells.
A great deal of research is being done on the use of stem cells from donors to help fight a variety of diseases including blood cancers, Multiple Scelorsis, and other diseases. Road Tested Living is proud to be working with Make It Happen USA to educate drivers and others about the importance of the registry and the need for donors.
It is my hope that if you're able to attend GATS you will stop by the Trucking Solutions Group booth and donate some blood to the American Red Cross. Then take a few moments to meet Christina and her team of volunteers to learn more about the bone marrow donation program and decide if registering is right for you. I am planning on registering at GATS, and I hope you will consider and do it as well!