84th Engineer Battalion donates blood, DNA for bone marrow

| August 26, 2010 | 0 Comments

Sgt. Jeffrey King
84th Engineer Battalion, 130th Engineer Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command

Spc. Todd Turner (left), 523rd Eng. Co., 84th Eng. Bn., 130th Eng. Bde., 8th TSC, gives a DNA sample for bone marrow registration. Engineers provided DNA for the C.W. Bill Young Marrow Donor Center and blood for the Armed Services Blood Program, Aug. 17 and 18. (Spc. Mary Ware | HHC, 84th Eng. Bn., 130th Eng. Bde, 8th TSC)SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — The 84th Engineer Battalion, 130th Engineer Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, showed what the unit is made of — literally, Aug. 17 and 18, as the battalion organized a combined bone marrow registration and blood drive. 

Engineers provided DNA for the C.W. Bill Young Marrow Donor Center and blood for the Armed Services Blood Program. 

“It’s amazing to see so many people from one unit rally behind a cause like this,” said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Jose Martinez, Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay, and a representative for the C.W. Bill Young Marrow Donor Center.

The bone marrow drive resulted in more than 550 new candidates for possible donors. The DNA samples are collected and filed for future identification as possible bone marrow donors to service members, family members or civilians in need of the lifesaving marrow. 

Bone marrow is a flexible tissue that produces new blood cells, and donations are used to treat a wide range of illnesses, including cancer, immune system diseases and sickle cell anemia.  

The blood drive was an overwhelming success, even though the majority of Soldiers from the battalion were ineligible to donate because the time frame has been less than a year since their return from deployment. However, the drive still collected 220 units of blood. 

“Typically, we don’t like to collect that much (blood) all at once due to the large amount that expires, but we just couldn’t turn down such a willing crowd,” said Michelle Lele, donor coordinator, ASBP. 

ASBP at Tripler Army Medical Center usually needs and receives 150 units of blood, a week. As the 561st Eng. Co., 84th Eng. Bn., 130th Eng. Bde., arrived for the drive, the staff from ASBP was absolutely astonished by the number of Soldiers and spouses willing to donate.  

Nicole Paradiso, a spouse from the 643rd Eng. Co., 84th Eng. Bn., 130th Eng. Bde., said this donation was her first one, and she felt privileged to be able to support her husband and the Army.

“I feel that this is a great opportunity for the spouses to show their support to the unit,” she said. “With so many Soldiers ineligible to donate, I am really glad we were able to participate.” 

The 84th Eng. Bn. aid station provided the logistics, and the Soldiers provided the heart, blood and marrow. 

“The best part of ASBP is that it is Soldiers taking care of Soldiers,” said Spc. Todd Turner, 523rd Eng. Co., 84th Eng. Bn., 130th Eng. Bde. “I think it’s great to be in a unit that provides us with an opportunity to give back.”

With 220 pints of blood and 550 new possible bone marrow donors, the 84th Eng. Bn., 130th Eng. Bde., Soldiers showed that even while at home, they provide a foundation and framework for other units and military members. 

Category: News

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