News: ‘Military taking care of the military’ blood and bone marrow drive
Story by Lance Cpl. Raquel Barraza
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif. – The Naval Medical Center San Diego is hosting a blood and bone marrow drive at the Marine Corps Exchange aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., July 11.
The drive supports the mission of the Armed Forces Blood Program, a combined effort of all branches of the military dedicated to collecting, storing and distributing blood.
“It’s the military taking care of the military,” said Doreen Rekoski, a blood donor recruiter with the AFBP and a Phoenix native. “We make sure there is a constant supply of blood.”
The blood goes to troops overseas and to the medical facilities used by military family members. The supply of blood is critical; all blood types are needed.
“There is no substitute for human blood and with a shelf life of 42 days, it is so important we have people to donate blood,” said Rekoski.
The focus of this blood drive also raises awareness of another life saving cause.
“The drive is also in support of the C.W. Bill Young Department of Defense Marrow Donor Program to get people to register as a bone marrow donor,” said Rekoski.
The registration process includes some paper work and taking a DNA sample.
According to the C.W. Bill Young Department of Defense Marrow Donor Program, people diagnosed with Leukemia, Aplastic Anemia or other fatal blood diseases, bone marrow sometimes is the only hope.
The goal of the drive is to get more people on the list so more people have a chance to find bone marrow donor matches, explained Rekoski.
All eligible participants are encouraged to donate blood or become a bone marrow donor to help save many lives.
“It is an act of faith because you might never meet the person you help, but it does help someone,” said Rekoski.
For more information on the blood or bone marrow drive visit www.dodmarrow.org or www.militaryblood.dod.mil.