Hundreds of people arrived at Grace Fellowship in North Codorus Township for a bone marrow drive Sunday. Many were there to help fellow church member Laura Anderson, a 31-year-old mother of four who will need a bone marrow transplant if her leukemia comes back.

Anderson, a North Codorus Township resident, developed acute myeloid leukemia as a result of chemotherapy used to kill breast cancer.

She is in remission, but chances are high it might return.

Church members also hope to help others by adding participants to the National Marrow Donor Program.

During the drive, people between the ages of 18 and 60 completed an application, swabbed the insides of their cheeks for a few seconds and placed the sample in an envelope that will be sent to the national bone marrow registry, which stores information in a national database.

Kevin Stauffer, 36, who lives in a suburb of Philadelphia, was at the church to help support the event. About seven years ago, he participated in a bone marrow drive through his job and found out that his bone marrow was a match for a 14-year-old girl with leukemia. He provided marrow for the girl.

The procedure -- which requires the donor to be under general anesthesia -- was relatively easy and painless, he said.

"There was a much greater risk she was going to die," he said of the recipient. "The next day, I went back to work."

Yvette Torres, who works in the recruitment and community development field for the National Marrow Donor Program, said more minorities are needed as donors.

"Some people don't believe in donating .


Advertisement

 . . They're expecting God to heal them," she said. "More minorities are needed to help give others a second chance at life . . . Cancer is an equal opportunity killer."

SCREENING

Minorities between ages 18 and 60 are needed for the National Marrow Donor Program and can be screened at a bone marrow drive 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the YMCA Community Center, 452 N. Beaver St. in York.

The event is free and requires participants to complete an application and have the inside of their cheeks swabbed. If the person is selected as a possible donor, all medical procedures are paid for by the recipient.

For more information, call 877-261-6786 or visit marrow.org.