JACKSON, MO (KFVS) - A bone marrow registration event in Perryville, Missouri on Friday, April 28 had a large turnout.
From 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., people gathered at the Amvets Post in Perryville on West Saint Joseph Street to register as a donor.
If you couldn't make it to Perryville on Friday you can still see if you are a match.
You can sign up online here and it only takes a few minutes. They send you a mouth swab in the mail, and you send it back.
The best part is it's totally free.
The event was for six-year-old Wade Wachter of Jackson, Missouri.
He was born with Schwachman-Diamond Syndrome, a rare genetic syndrome. His family is asking the public for help after tests show his bone marrow is failing.
In the last few months, it went from manageable to life threatening.
Wade Wachter looks like a normal kid. He plays sports, goes to school, but he's had SDS since he was born.
"At his last bone marrow biopsy it was pretty much detected that it is in the stages of failing," said his mother, Jenni Wachter.
If his bone marrow fails, Wade could die.
"You always hear of people having rare diseases, but you don't realize that's going to happen to you," Wachter said.
Wade's syndrome also makes him small. He has to take growth hormones daily.
Wade said he feels different.
"Because everybody in my class doesn't have a syndrome like I do," Wade said.
The Wachters are asking their Heartland community to see if one of you are Wade's match. The one that would safe his life.
"Everybody who swabs is providing us, and other families with illnesses or the need for a bone marrow transplant with help. We definitely need a complete stranger to save our son's life," Wachter said.
Even though Wade's syndrome is a huge part of his life, his mom said it doesn't define him.
"He has a lot of doctor's appointments, a lot of lab draws, a lot of procedures that most kids don't have, but besides the medical stuff. He actually is a normal kid. He is learning, he is playing sports, he is goofy, he is adorable. He's still my son, but he does endure a lot more medical problems than most kids," Wachter said.
A simple swab could mean a lifetime of memories for the Wachters.
"Follow your heart. If you feel like it's something that you have the power to provide, saving another person's life with your bone marrow, do it. If you're healthy, and you're of age, and you have the heart to do so, please. Please," Wacter said.
Here is some information on bone marrow donation we found out from the National Bone Marrow Program:
- The typical commitment for the donation process is 20-30 hours over a 4 to 6 week period--not including travel.
- There is usually a short hospital stay involved -- that sometimes includes overnight.
- Bone marrow is retrieved by putting needles in both sides of the back of your pelvic bone -- under anesthesia.
- The average recovery time for the donor is about 20 days.