Joint drive provides two chances to give
A local woman, who has organized a joint blood and bone marrow drive for next week, said she hopes it will be the first of many such events in Lee County.
Chinyere "Chi Chi" Evbuomwan coordinated the drives — scheduled for 3:30-8 p.m. May 9 at Sanford Church of God, located at 2105 Pathway Drive — for a Central Carolina girl who was diagnosed with Fanconi's anemia earlier this year.
Evbuomwan said she intends to reach out to encourage area churches, civic groups, schools and interested individuals to hold similar drives in the future.
"It's important because [these drives] really can save people," she said. "There are many children who need help."
Donating blood and registering to become a bone marrow donor are simple acts that can have drastic impacts on families, including people in Sanford, Evbuomwan said.
The American Red Cross is sponsoring the blood drive, and the bone marrow drive is sponsored by Be The Match, a national organization that connects patients with bone marrow donors.
Addie Sanders, an account executive with Be The Match, said she's worked with Evbuomwan to coordinate these events and wants to see them multiply in the future.
"Basically, they can be the ones to cure a child," Sanders said. "All that is required is to swab their cheek and be between 18-44. Most of the [bone marrow] donations are like giving blood. With some potential minimal discomfort, you can be the one to cure someone."
Evbuomwan said she began organizing blood drives and bone marrow drives in 2010 and was inspired by her daughter, Eseosa, who has sickle-cell anemia.
"I felt like there was no one [volunteering] for Be The Match," Evbuomwan said. "I said, 'I can do that.' So I called them and became a volunteer coordinator. I recruit people and host drives for people to be registered."
If a group is interested in hosting a drive, they can contact Evbuomwan at firstname.lastname@example.org.