Inspired by the recent bone marrow transplant of school board member Hussein Samatar to fight his Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia, the Minneapolis district is holding a bone marrow donor registration drive Wednesday.
The event will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., at district headquarters, 1250 Broadway Av. Donors must be age 18 to 60 and must meet certain health requirements set by the National Donor Marrow Program The district said that walk-ins are welcome.
Samatar announced that he was diagnosed with CLC last December, and has undergone three rounds of chemotherapy that sometimes left his voice weakened but not silenced at board meetings. He has been absent during his post-transplant hospital stay.
According to the district, potential donors fill out a health information form and provide a cheek swab sample that is used to add the volunteer to the registry. If matched in the future, a volunteer commits to donating to a patient in need. If the doinor is the best match after further testing, the volunteer commits 30 to 40 hours over a four- to six-week period to attend appointments and donate. The patient’s doctor will request either a peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) donation or marrow donation.
Samatar was elected in 2010 and is the first Somali-born immigrant to hold public office in Minnesota, and likely the nation. He is also the founder and executive director of the African Development Center, which specializes in helping immigrants launch small businesses.