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Cancer Survivors Celebrate

Two hundred people signed up for the National Bone Marrow Registry at the Lurie Cancer Walk

CHICAGO ---Geoffrey Yahn took a few minutes out of his Sunday morning to rub cotton swabs on the inside of his cheek. This simple task, along with a registration form, is the first step needed to save the life of someone in need of a bone marrow or blood stem cell transplant.

“This is a way I can help,” Yahn said. “It doesn’t take much of my time and is one way I can give more life to someone who needs it.”

Yahn was one of 200 people who signed up for the National Bone Marrow Registry at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University’s 19th Annual Cancer Survivors' Celebration and Walk June 3.

He knows how important his place on the registry may be, because his father was diagnosed with leukemia at Northwestern Medicine two months ago and is about to receive a lifesaving transplant from a registry member.

Marc Chibnik is still waiting for his match. Chibnik, a father of four, and his wife, Nicole, organized a “Be the Match” marrow drive at the Lurie Cancer Walk.

He is battling through a recurrence of an uncommon type of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and needs a transplant from a donor to cure this life-threatening disease. Because he is of Ashkenazi Jewish decent, Chibnik has had a difficult time finding a match.

“I have a couple of markers in my DNA typing that are very, very unique,” Chibnik said. “So, in order for me to get a match, I’m going to need to have a lot of extra people join the registry.”

The Lurie Walk and Celebration was the ideal venue for registering new donors. This annual event draws 4,000 survivors, friends, family as well as Lurie doctors, nurses and researchers, who have been personally touched by cancer.

Save the date for next year's walk, Sunday, June 2, 2013:

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