I think many people will agree that we enjoy the feeling that 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 bringing joy to their day. As drivers we have the added challenge of figuring out how we can do this. Many times, we are under a schedule that may prevent us from stopping and lending aid to someone. Others may have limited resources in which to give others support. Yet other causes we wish to support we may be unable to do so as we are on the road and not able to be at that event.
This year at the Great American Truck Show (GATS ), 2014 Truck Show there will be 2 events that drivers, and those attending the event should take note of. The first is the annual Red Cross Blood Drive, organized by the Trucking Solutions Group (TSG). This annual event at GATS allows drivers to take a few moments of their time during the show and give the gift of life. This year the drive will be held in booth number 23080. Our sincere thanks 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 leukemia and other blood cancers.
The numbers in the U.S. are staggering, here are some interesting facts:
- Only 2% of the US population is on the registry.
- 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.
Make It Happen USA was founded by Christina Schnese, a survivor of cancer who was fortunate enough to find a bone marrow donor on the registry. Her experience demonstrated to her 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 small space set up at GATS to educate people on Bone Marrow Donation, fill out a questionnaire, and to collect the sample with a simple and fast mouth swab.
The Trucking Solutions Group has been interested in adding a bone marrow registry to our GATS event for a number of years. In the past one of the main things that has prevented them from hosting the drive, was the cost. The donor was expected to pay the cost of processing the test. Make It Happen USA is taking on the full responsibility of paying for the processing of the tests. There is no cost to the donor either for the testing it self or for the donation of the marrow or stem cells.
Currently in the U.S. only 2% of the population is on the registry, compared to approximately 60% in most modern European countries. With the advances in treatment, the supply of bone marrow and stem cells will be critical. 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.
Over the next few weeks leading up to GATS, I will be doing several more articles featuring Christina’s story, Make It Happen USA and the importance of registering for bone marrow and stem cell donation. 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.
It is my hope that if your 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 this program and hopefully 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.