Rock River Valley Blood Center Announces National Marrow Donor Month

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November is Marrow Donor Month. Visit Rock River Valley Blood Center to join online or in person.

November is National Marrow Donor Month, and the Rock River Valley Blood Center’s Be The Match® Marrow Program is encouraging people to help save lives by registering to be a potential marrow cell donor, or raising or donating money to support adding more potential heroes to the Be The Match Marrow® Registry.

There is a cure for many blood cancers, like leukemia and lymphoma. Yet, only half of the patients receive the treatment that can save their lives. This is in large part because they don’t have a matching donor to help them. 70% of such patients will not have a match in their family and look to Be The Match Marrow Registry in search of a stranger who can give them a chance, a cure for their disease.

For a successful transplant, a marrow donor’s tissue type needs to match the patient’s. Finding a compatible donor is a challenge. Because “tissue type” is inherited, the best potential donor most likely comes from the patient’s same racial and ethnic group. Donors of all backgrounds are needed, but the need for diverse donors is urgent, as these groups are underrepresented on the registry, making it difficult for diverse patients to receive the health care treatment medical technology has made possible.

The registry is made up of volunteer potential donors, standing by in the event they match a searching patient, ready to give someone a second chance at life. This is a serious commitment, as searching patients are counting on members to follow through if they match and are able to donate. You must be healthy and between 18-44 years old to join.


  • Visit any Rock River Valley Blood Center or mobile drive, or join online at
  • Complete a registration form
  • Give a swab of cheek cells with a sterile Q-tip

For information on how to become a donor, set up a donor registry drive, make a tax-deductible charitable gift to help add more area residents to the registry, or learn more about the Rock River Valley Blood Center’s Marrow Donor Program please call 1-815-961-2341, e-mail mshannon(at)rrvbc(dot)org or visit online at and click on “Marrow Program.”

The Rock River Valley Blood Center established its marrow donor program in 1990 and proudly serves as both a Donor Center and Apheresis Center. We recruit and manage donors, facilitate the collection and transport of marrow cells, and collect peripheral blood stem cells at our 6th Street facility. We serve the communities in northern Illinois, southern Wisconsin and beyond, reaching out to provide education, support, donor drives, registration, search activities, collection and follow-up.

The Rock River Valley Blood Center serves as a centralized, community blood center and is the sole provider of blood products and services to Beloit Health System, Edgerton Hospital and Health Services, FHN, Mercy Harvard Hospital, OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center, Rochelle Community Hospital, Rockford Health System, SwedishAmerican Health System and SwedishAmerican Medical Center—Belvidere. For more information or to make an appointment to donate blood, please call toll free 877-RRVBC-99 or find RRVBC on the web at

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Jennifer Bowman
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