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Bone marrow registration drive a success

Staff Sgt. Tracy Schultz (left) assists Senior Master Sgt. Brenda West with filling out a consent form, while Master Sgt. Don Morgan (right) uses a buccal swab to get a test sample July 10. (Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Dave Neve)

Staff Sgt. Tracy Schultz (left) assists Senior Master Sgt. Brenda West with filling out a consent form, while Master Sgt. Don Morgan (right) uses a buccal swab to get a test sample July 10. (Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Dave Neve)

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Members of the 162nd Fighter Wing registered to be bone marrow donors July 10 during a donor registration drive here.

"About 200 Airmen registered during the drive," said Senior Master Sgt. Armando Gonzalez a marrow donor who arranged the drive. "Of course, there's always hope for more. There is a little competition going on between the 162nd and Luke Air Force Base," he said.

Seventy Airmen from the Airman Leadership School at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz. came to the unit to register, and more are expected to come, said Gonzalez.

The process of registering is painless and easy, said Senior Master Sgt. Timothy Burris, a participant in the drive.

To register, participants filled out a form, and used cotton swabs to get samples from different parts of their mouth. The swabs went into an envelope and the participants signed the forms.

The chance of being a match once you are in the registry is very slim, less than .01 percent, said Gonzalez.

Burris said that after listening to Gonzalez talk about his experience donating, he is a little apprehensive about possibly being selected, but hopeful that he will be given the opportunity to save a life.

"The drive was a lot of fun," said Gonzalez. "The volunteers from the Junior Enlisted Council here have been fantastic," he said.

This isn't the first registration drive we have done here, and it won't be the last, said Burris.