My Boy Scout Eagle project is an awareness campaign to help people know about blood cancers and the acute need for bone marrow donors. The campaign will culminate in a “Be the Match” bone marrow registry drive on Saturday, June 7th, at Lincoln Square in Urbana. This is being done in conjunction with the Community Blood Services of Illinois and the McKay family whose little boy, Davis, has leukemia. Most people are unaware of both the need and the solution. Another person is diagnosed with a blood disease every 4 minutes, and 70% must find a donor outside of their families. And there is an especially tremendous need for people of minority backgrounds to be donors. 75% of marrow procedures are very simple and no longer done surgically, but by having your blood run through a cell sorter while you sit and read or watch a movie. While only 1 in 500 people who join the registry will ever be called upon to give, those who do will save a life. We are seeking people of the ages 18-44 to join the registry simply by coming by our booth and having a cheek swab for a DNA test. I became interested in this as a possible project because the mother of one my good soccer friends had to have a transplant not that long ago… and because my great grandfather died of leukemia.
— Patrick McQueen, Urbana Troop 6