Maui News

Former Maui Boy Hosts Marrow Donor Drive on Maui as Part of Eagle Scout Project

August 10, 2021, 4:17 PM HST
* Updated August 10, 9:38 AM
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Riley Regan. Courtesy photo. Since 1989, Be The Match Hawai’i has helped facilitate more than 503 life-saving blood stem-cell or bone marrow transplants to patients with leukemia and other life-threatening blood diseases. Over 73,000 donors are registered in Hawaiʻi though more are needed. Matches are typically found within the same ethnic background.

As part of his Eagle Scout project, Life Scout Riley Regan of Oʻahu’s Troop 325 will host a bone marrow donor drive at Queen Kaʻahumanu Center in Kahului, Maui on Saturday, Sept. 4 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“There is a need for more diverse individuals to join the donor registry with Be The Match Hawaiʻi and increase the chances of finding a donor match for patients awaiting a life-saving blood stem cell or marrow transplant,” according to an event announcement.

Community leaders, who are assisting with the project, include Councilmembers Yuki Lei Sugimura and Gabe Johnson, Senators Lynn DeCoite, Gilbert Keith-Agaran and Stanley Chang, Kauaʻu Mayor Derek Kawakami, and State Representatives Richard Onishi and Nadine Nakamura.

“We hope that the donor registry drive during Labor Day Weekend will help generate hundreds of Mauians to be added to the registry so that more lives can be saved, as well as to raise awareness about how easy it is for anyone to save a life,” said Sugimura.

“I encourage all to consider joining the registry,” said Sen. Keith-Agaran.  “You could help save a life.” 

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Volunteers will be onsite providing awareness about the mission of Be The Match Hawaiʻi and assisting those interested in joining the donor registry with the registration process, which typically takes about 5-10 minutes.

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Potential donors must be between the ages of 18 to 44 years old, meet health guidelines and be willing to donate to anyone in need of a bone marrow or blood stem-cell transplant. The online registration process includes a short form to complete along with a cheek swab sample.  Be The Match is specifically looking for donors age 18-44, as research shows that cells from younger donors lead to more successful transplants. 

Regan is also organizing similar drives on Saturday, Aug. 14, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Straub Lānaʻi, and on Saturday, Aug. 21, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Lanikeha Community Center, as well as drives on Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, and two on Hawaiʻi Island.

Regan encourages those who cannot attend in person, to register online at my.bethematch.org/ImuaScouts or text ImuaScouts to 61474.

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