Middle School holds marrow drive


We would like to inform the Whidbey Island community about a NMDP (National Marrow Donation Program) Donor Drive that North Whidbey Middle School is hosting. NWMS Leadership class has dedicated its time to promoting, marketing, interviewing, and asking for donors, ages 18-40, that are non-active duty to show up and see if they are a match on June 1 from 1-5 p.m.

Through NMDP, people donate their bone marrow or blood stem cells to see if they are a match to people in need. In 2023, 7,435 donors were matched and helped to fight cancer. Currently, two teachers have received this life-saving match to a donor. Joe Stach, an OHSD full time substitute teacher, was introduced to NMDP in 2014 after he was diagnosed with Myelodysplastic syndrome. He found a match in May of 2014 after being given a year to live; he has been in remission from cancer since 2014. When Leadership NWMS asked if he would recommend others to support NMDP, Joe Stach said, “I think it’s a great way for people to help others.”

Thomas Karney, an OHSD third grade teacher, received a match from his daughter and has been in remission for four years. He said, “It gave me a feeling of relief and of course joy. I wasn’t able to find a traditional match in the registry because of my unique heritage. Children are what they call “haploid” matches, or half matches. Typically they look for as close to a 100% match as possible; even though children are only a 50% genetic match to their parents, they’ve had success with stem cell transplants in the past.” He said, “One of my big motivators was to walk my oldest daughter, who happened to be my donor, down the aisle. She was married in August 2022 and I was able to do this. I also wanted to live to see my grandchildren. Again, this dream came true in November when my first grandson was born.”

Please visit the North Whidbey Middle School for a cheek swab to see if you’re a match. Donating to people in their most desperate need of hour would be a miracle to the person and their family. With your help, more people will survive through the most difficult time of their life. For more information, see bethematch.org.

Rayne Myers

NWMS Leadership