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Harbor Bridge illuminated in honor of National Marrow Awareness Month

Posted at 12:35 PM, Nov 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-12 13:39:38-05

The Harbor Bridge will be lit in red, green and blue this week to help raise awareness about the national marrow donor registry.

GenCure, a subsidiary of nonprofit BioBridge Global, will commemorate National Marrow Awareness Month as the Harbor Bridge will be illuminated in red, green and blue from Nov. 11-13.

Corpus Christi mayor Joe McComb will also present a proclamation declaring Nov. 13 as Be the Match Day.

With 13 million people on the national Be The Match registry, only 1 in 430 will go on to donate, making the wait for a match gut-wrenching for patients and families.

Holly Houser’s daughter Laynie was diagnosed with severe aplastic anemia in 2015 at the age of 7. By 2016, it was clear she needed an unrelated donor to save her life. Laynie received a bone marrow transplant in 2017.

“I encourage everyone to join the bone marrow registry,” said Houser. “You may be the lifesaving chance that someone is looking for. To know that a complete stranger had agreed to save our daughter’s life by donating their bone marrow—what an incredible gift.”

Every year, 14,000 blood disease patients like Laynie need stem cell or bone marrow transplants for leukemia, lymphoma and other blood diseases. Because patients are more likely to match someone from their own race or ethnicity, individuals from diverse ethnic backgrounds are encouraged to join the registry. To join the registry, you must be between the ages of 18 and 44, in general good health and willing to donate to any patient in need until the age 61.

Text Cure96 to 61474 to start the online registration form. Once the form is complete, a cheek swab kit will be mailed to you. Follow the directions on the kit and return the cheek swabs in the mail to complete the registration.

Over a year after her successful transplant, Laynie is a healthy sixthgrader who loves band, art and sleepovers. She recently contacted the donor who saved her life. “Laynie cried when we learned her name,” Houser said. “Our donor not only saved Laynie’s life, but she showed us the good in the world. Our donor proved to us that there really are angels here on Earth.”

Houser and Laynie will attend the presentation of the mayor’s proclamation on Tuesday along with other recipients to help raise awareness about joining the registry.