Bone marrow registry drive held for local man

Out of nine million people on the bone marrow registry, not a single one is a match for a Columbus native suffering from leukemia.

26 year-old Ben Koon was diagnosed again with cancer this June and now he is looking for a bone marrow match. Doctors say a transplant is his best hope of beating the disease for good.

And that is why some Columbus State University baseball players are stepping in to help.

Greg Appleton, CSU Head Baseball Coach, said, "When we found out it was Ben, Brian's little brother, it was just a no-brainer for us."

Greg Appleton coached Ben's older brother, Brian, in baseball at CSU. He got his players involved in a bone marrow registry drive on Tuesday.

One of Ben's high school classmates stopped by to sign up and give some good news.  Not only is the Pacelli graduating class of 2003 signing up to be in the registry, they are also raising money for the cause.

It costs about $100 to add a name to the registry.

Coach Appleton said the process was educational for him.  "At first I was a little apprehensive, I was thinking a bone marrow transplant, that is pretty involved. But then when you watch the video, you kind of say, well gosh, I can save somebody's life here."

Signing up for the bone marrow registry is free. It takes about five minutes to fill out the paper work and get your cheek swabbed.  Anyone in good health from the age 18-60 can sign up.

If you are found to be a match, giving marrow to a patient usually involves giving blood, not surgery.

A bone marrow registry drive will be held on Wednesday at St. Francis Hospital in Columbus.