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Lewes, Delaware
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May 1, 1998     Cape Gazette
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May 1, 1998

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36 - CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, May I - May 7, 1998 'I learned of harvesting during tim ice storm of '94' Cape Region woman shares special stow By Sue Isaacs My roots are firmly set in a strong farm family of Sussex County, so I understand that har- vesting is not done during an ice storm. I had, however, joined the National Bone Marrow Registry in 1990, and in November of 1993, was notified that there was a wife and mother in the southwest who needed a bone marrow trans- plant secondary to leukemia. I was told nothing else about this patient except that without the transplant she was expected to live only two to seven years. After two months of extensive lab analysis and physical exams, I was notified that I was a perfect match. I had my marrow har- vested, or with- drawn, during the ice storm that paralyzed much of the Mid-Atlantic during Febru- ary 1994. My donation was ISAACS flown to "somewhere in the south- west," and I was able to follow her progress over the next year only through my doctor. I was told that at the end of that year we could exchange names and addresses only if we both agreed to do so. Bone marrow itself is the organ in charge of producing blood cells and platelets, and transplants of marrow are needed for an estimat- ed 40,000 adults and children who are stricken with leukemia, lym- phoma, aplastic anemia, immune deficiencies and other blood-relat- ed diseases each year. The preferred matches are found in a brother or sister with an identical twin being ideal, but a healthy stranger with an exact genetic makeup, age 18 to 60, may be the only hope for these patients. The current odds of finding an unrelated donor are 20,000 to 1. Because of this, a larger pool of prospective donors is needed. My recipient was given a 40 percent chance of finding a donor and only a 25 percent chance of sur- viving the procedure if a match was found. Obviously, there is a critical need for more volunteer donors. Your decision to "share life" may be the only chance for a critically ill patient. Many, especially peo- ple of color, cannot find a compat- Auxiliary strong supporters of Beebe Medical Center Most people don't really pay attention to the cheerful ladies in pink smocks presiding over the information desk in Beebe Med- ical Center's main lobby. Neither do many visitors notice that more pink smocks staff the hospital gift shop. And patients can be forgiv- en for failing to acknowledge yet more pink smocks taking cable TV to each room. Hospital staff and administra- tion are very aware of the pink- smocked members of the Beebe Medical Center Auxiliary and all they do for the hospital. In addi- tion to staffing the information desk and managing the gift shop, the auxiliary raises funds for the hospital. That's why Dr. Kathleen Romain approached the Beebe Medical Center Auxiliary for the funds to purchase new automated equipment for the hospital's pathology department. After listening ROMAIN to her presenta- tion, the membership voted that very evening and unanimously decided to foot the $60,000 bill for a new Automated Immuno- stainer. The machine was in place the first of April. Immunostaining is a very com- plex and sensitive process of staining specimens for diagnosis. Looked at under a microscope, a sample stained by routine meth- ods is seen in various shades of color. "Immunostaining gives more detailed information. The best word to use is 'probe.' It's the specificity of probing for a malig- nancy or virus," said Romain. Before the new automation, immunostaining was done by hand, one specimen at a time." The process was so time consuming that Beebe Medical Center pathol- ogy lab technicians could only do the specialized staining twice a week. The new equipment leaves technicians free to perform other tasks while the machine does the staining. That doesn't mean, of course, that the technicians are out of a job: their expertise directs the machine and evaluates the stained samples. "The volume and complexity of care at Beebe Medical Center is growing so rapidly we need to do those stains more than twice a week," Romain said. "We really appreciate the auxiliary coming up with the machine. We thought we'd have to wait another year or even two years." The pathology department has not been the only beneficiary of Beebe Medical Center Auxiliary generosity. Members raised the $15,000 now held in reserve by the Beebe Medical Foundation for the construction of a new hospital chapel. Six years ago, they pledged $350,000 to the Beebe Medical Center for the new Women's Pavilion as part of the Vision 2000 campaign. "We had seven years to pay it, but we paid it off in just five years," said Patricia Johnson, aux- iliary president. "This past year alone we raised more than $90,000. The ladies have decided that, rather than concentrating on one thing, we'll do lots of little things." The new VCR for Beebe Med- ical Center's Gull House was one of those "little things" that has brought a lot of pleasure to clients. Another "little thing" is the tiny T- shirt reading, "I Was Born at Beebe Medical Center," given to each newborn. The most recent project is the purchase of several Continued on page 38 With So Much At Stake... Let Me Help You Make The Right Choice In Medicare Supplement Plane! Should y0 u have coverage for... • Medicare Parts A & B? • Costly deductibles and prescription drugs? Jayne = Health Care outside the U.S.? Waldridge Now with new, government standardized Medicare Supplement plans, Delaware insurance companies may offer as many as 5 identical plans from bare bones to deluxe coverage. Having more coverage than you need is a waste of money. Having less might put you at financial risk! And while standard plans are the same from one insurer to another, rates can vary a great deal! Plus, there's no peace of mind unless you're 100% sure about your company,s financial strength ... stability ... experience.., and commitment to service. Allow Me To Provide A Free, Easy-to-Understand Comparison And Rate Quote Right Away! Call Today: (302) 226-3955 BANKERS LIFE AND CASUALTY COMPANY Chicago, Illinois 60630-4501 NO COST • NO STRINGS ATTACHED • ACT TODAY! Neither Bankers nor its agents are connected with Medicare. P-5165 DE ible donor, and a large, ethnically diverse group of prospective donors will give more patients a chance of survival. After a minor surgical proce- dure under anesthesia where mar- row was withdrawn from my pelvic bones, I spent one night in the hospital and 10 days resting at home. Unlike other organ trans- plants, marrow can be given with- out future consequences because it will regenerate. One year to the day of my "har- vest" donation, I received a phone call from a Debbie Baxter in Mid- lothian, Texas - my recipient! It was a special moment for us both. We share the same genetic make- up, but we also now share fami- lies, laughs and good times. This past November, I helped celebrate Debbie's 40th birthday with her family and friends, a day they were not sure they would have. I hope to one day have the opportunity to donate again, and ask that you also consider giving a stranger the gift of life. To find out how, call 800-Mar- row-2. Editor's note: Sue Isaacs is a physician's assistant at Associates in Medicine in Lewes. To reach her, call 645-6644. DAVID AUGUST, D.O. 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