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Annual Blood and Bone Marrow Drive

07/18/2013 at 4:52pm

8th Annual Blood & Marrow DriveCome to the Lani Kai on Saturday for the 8th
Annual Blood and Bone Marrow Drive

Kenny Conidaris is 19 now and in remission but that doesn't mean he plans to ever stop helping to save lives. The beach native was diagnosed with Severe Aplastic Anemia (SAA) when he was 12, but since he has yet to find a match for a bone marrow transplant, there is always the worry that his disease will return. Plus - with about 10,000 people needing a bone marrow transplant every year, the need for blood and marrow is greater than ever. For those reasons, his family will again be hosting their annual Kenny Conidaris Blood and Marrow Drive at the Lani Kai this Saturday from 9am to 6pm.

Kenny's experience has brought home to his family the vital need for more marrow and blood donors. For the last 7 years, the Lani Kai has hosted this event, hoping to bring in more blood donors and marrow donor registrations. This year, as usual, the Lani Kai is planning a big party for the Blood and Marrow Drive - complete with live music, free food and refreshments, door prizes and giveaways for donors and registrants, all provided by local businesses.

All blood types are needed, and the easiest way to find out what one's blood type is by donating blood. Florida’s Blood Centers must make sure that all hospitals have an adequate supply at all times. Donations will go to local hospitals served by Florida’s Blood Centers within the next couple of days to patients who may need immediate transfusions.

Even donating bone marrow has become much easier.

'Be The Match Registry' - formerly 'The National Marrow Donor Program' - coordinates the search for a match for those seeking a transplant. The very nature of a bone marrow transplant has changed in recent years. It used to involve a minor surgical procedure for the donor. The majority of transplants now do not; they use peripheral blood stem cells (PBSC), which the donor provides much like a blood donation. There are no costs to the donor for the donation and it is not painful.

Show your support for Kenny Conidaris and patients like him by participating in the Kenny Conidaris 8th Annual Blood and Bone Marrow Drive. All donors will receive a custom T-shirt and a chance to win prizes in the raffle. Oh, and free parking for the drive also. That's always a plus on the beach at any time of the year!

For more information, call 1-888-9DONATE (1-888-936-6283).

Staff Report