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January 22. 2014 9:15PM

‘Triple Play’ offers three chances to save a life

LONDONDERRY — Sometimes, an hour is all it takes to save a life.

Next Friday, people are urged to stop by St. Jude Parish to donate a pint of blood, enter their information into the national bone marrow registry and learn more about Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s Living Donor Program.

Event organizer Vincent Curro said the goal of the Jan. 31 “Triple Play” event is a simple one: “We’re hoping to save as many lives as we can in three separate ways,” he said.According to Paul Bergeron, spokesman for the local American Red Cross chapter, the need for blood products in the region is climbing.

Bergeron said there have recently been several instances of local patients having surgeries postponed because of low blood supplies.

According to statistics compiled by the Red Cross, about 95 percent of American adults are eligible to donate blood, though only around 5 percent do so.

“We need to replenish the blood supplies and now,” Curro said, noting that one blood donation can impact up to three lives.

Those who wish to make an appointment to donate blood at this month’s Londonderry event may do so online at www.redcrossblood.org or by calling (800) RED-CROSS.

Walk-ins and first-time donors are also welcome.

Attendees will also be given the chance to participate in the “Be the Match” registry program, where participants’ bone marrow is typed with a simple cheek swab and entered into the national registry of patients in need.

Curro said many matches were made in Londonderry during previous events, and he hopes to see more lives saved in the future.

Past donors will be on hand to answer any questions about the donation process and share their experiences meeting the patients who benefited from their gift.

Representatives from the Living Donor Program will also be present to provide interested residents with information on organ donation.

Londonderry resident Rosemarie Meuse, who suffers from a genetic kidney disease, has been awaiting a transplant for the past year and a half and said she’s looking forward to sharing her story with those attending the Triple Play event.

Meuse said her husband, Philip, had intended to give her one of his kidneys but died unexpectedly several days before he was scheduled for preliminary testing at the Boston hospital.

Once a donor of matching blood type is found, Meuse will undergo surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the same hospital where the world’s first kidney transplant was performed.

Her insurance plan will cover 100 percent of the donor’s medical expenses, and Meuse said she’d reimburse her donor for any travel costs, as well as time lost from missing work.

For more information on the Living Donor Program, contact the kidney coordinator at Brigham and Women’s Hospital at (617) 732-6866 or send emails to bwhkidneydonorinfo@partners.org.

The Triple Play event is scheduled for Friday, Jan. 31, from 1 to 7 p.m. at St. Jude Parish, located at 435 Mammoth Road in Londonderry. All donors will be treated to homemade chili, chicken soup and baked goods, along with coupons for a free pound of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee.aguilmet@newstote.com


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