Holloman hosts Salute to Life registration drive

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Jessica Sanchez-Chen
  • 49th Wing Public Affairs

Holloman volunteers kicked-off a week-long Salute to Life registration drive at the Domenici Fitness Center, Nov. 15, 2021, here.

The Salute to Life registration event is intended to boost awareness of blood cancers like leukemia, lymphoma and other life-threatening blood disorders, as well as add bone marrow donors to the national registry.

“Every year, over 17,000 Americans are diagnosed with a blood cancer or blood disorder and many will not find a donor among their relatives,” said Master Sgt. Jon Ayon, 49th Civil Engineer Squadron operations engineering superintendent. “The national marrow donor registry serves as a lifeline for these individuals to connect with a compatible donor to receive life-saving treatment.”

The C.W. Bill Young Department of Defense Marrow Donor Recruitment and Research Program (Salute to Life), partners with the National Marrow Donor Program to strengthen the national marrow donor registry and provide the gift of hope to patients diagnosed with blood disorders.

“I was inspired to register as a donor in 2014 and was recently contacted by Salute to Life to assist them in bringing Holloman the opportunity to register as well,” said Ayon. “I am thankful to have been offered a greater role in the fight against these afflictions, and I hope that many at Holloman will join us.”

According to Ayon, the goal of the week-long event is to register as many potential donors as possible.

“Holloman previously conducted a registration event in May of 2017 where 115 individuals registered as bone marrow donors,” said Ayon. “We hope to reach many more individuals this time around and that many will step up to register as donors.”

All military personnel (Active Duty, Guard and Reserve), DoD civilians and their dependents aged 18-60 that are in good general health can register as marrow donors in just 10 minutes by completing a consent form, and swabbing the inside of their cheeks.

“I’m so happy that we’re able to bring the Salute to Life registry drive here to Holloman AFB,” said Col. Ryan Keeney, 49th Wing commander. “I know there’s a bunch of Team Holloman members who haven’t had the chance to be a part of the registry, and I want to encourage everybody to look into it.”

Registration will take place on a walk-in basis at the Holloman Base Exchange, Nov. 15 to Nov. 19 from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and at the Shoppette, Friday, Nov. 19 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Those unavailable to attend Holloman’s event that would like to volunteer can register as bone marrow donors anytime by visiting the Salute to Life website at salutetolife.org or by calling 1-800-MARROW-3.