Local family seeks bone marrow donor
A local family is asking the community to help save the life of their cherished husband and father, Chad Hammons, who needs a bone marrow transplant as he fights cancer.
Chad, who was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma in October of 2010, is having a marrow registry drive held in his honor Saturday, November 17 at Minden Presbyterian Church from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m.
If a match is found for Chad, the marrow donation will happen after he has completed another round of radiation. At that time, the donor will be needed at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas.
"What they do there is put them on a machine and separate the marrow from the blood, and the blood will return back to the donor's body," said Chad's wife Racquael. "Then it will be frozen until Chad is ready to have the marrow placed in his body."
Racquael hopes this registry can help other families as well as hers.
"I hope this drive benefits my husband and we find a marrow match, but at the same time it has the potential to benefit so many other people who are in need of a transplant. There are other wives and families going through the same thing I am, and I don't want anyone to ever have to go through something like this. It's hard."
The Hammons' March trip to MD Anderson let them know the bone marrow cancer in Chad's body was at two percent.
"Then we went back in August and it jumped to 15 percent," Racquael said. "So they have upped his medication and we go back in December to find out if it is helping. In the meantime, they wanted us to go ahead and do a bone marrow drive for Chad."
Registration consists of a mouth swab with a cotton swab and 10 minutes of the potential donor's time.
People ages 18 to 44 can register at the event, and those older than 44 are asked to fill out their registry online.
"It is just a mouth swab at the beginning, and then they look to see if the anti-bodies are a match for Chad or others who need bone marrow," Raquael said. "LifeShare (Blood Centers) said the marrow that is typcally donated usually comes from someone between the ages of 18 to 44. They do not want to limit this to those ages, just in case the marrow can be donated by some one older than 44."