It takes a Village; local brewery hosts swab-a-thon

Ryan White, CTV Calgary Published Saturday, June 7, 2014 4:38PM MDT Last Updated Saturday, June 7, 2014 6:30PM MDT

Dozens of men stepped forward to offer their cheek cells for testing in the hope of assisting patients in need of stem cell or bone marrow transplants.

On Saturday, the Village Brewery offered beer tastings and tours to those who took part in the swab-a-thon.

The event was created by Steve Carpenter, the operator of a local micro-brewery, whose brother Al was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia in November. Al, married and the father of two, was in desperate need of stem cell treatment and Canadian Blood Services was unable to locate a suitable match through its stem cell and bone marrow donor program.

Steve and his friends organized a swab-a-thon in the hopes of locating a suitable donor, and Jim Button, a childhood friend of Als and the owner of Village Brewery, offered the use of his brewery.

Miraculously, in the days before the swab-a-thon was to be held, a suitable stem cell match was located for Al and he underwent treatment in an Ottawa hospital. Doctors say Al is responding well to the treatment.

Despite the fact a donor had been located for his brother, Steve made the decision to continue with his plans for Saturdays event.

We are here to tell people it is a very easy program, said Steve. We really appreciate anybody coming out to sign up on registry, be it for my brother or any other people in need.

Mike Carron was the first volunteer to step up to register and offer up a saliva sample. He says he wanted to help the cause after stem cell treatment extended the life of a close family member.

I thought it would be good to pay it forward, explains Carron. I had an uncle who needed stem cell treatment three years ago and it gave him an extra three years.

See original here:
It takes a Village; local brewery hosts swab-a-thon

Related Post