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Bone marrow donors are needed in the Tampa Bay area | Here's how you can donate

Be the Match will be at several Tampa Bay area hospitals this week allowing people to get on the registry.

SOUTH PASADENA, Fla. — Those with cancer and blood disorders need your bone marrow, and on Thursday, you could get on the list to be a match for someone.

HCA Florida Northside Hospital will be swabbing people for the match registry list. On Wednesday, HCA Florida Pasadena Hospital did the same. 

The Director of CV Services, Jamie Carden-Jennings, works at HCA Pasadena Hospital. She was there offering information to her employees as people signed up.

Beyond her scrubs, Carden-Jennings has a personal passion for helping those who are sick. Her father Robert is the reason she added her name to the Be the Match registry.

Credit: Jamie Carden-Jennings

Her father was diagnosed with skin cancer that progressed into leukemia and he needed a bone marrow donor. She was hopeful her DNA could save his life.

Unfortunately, Carden-Jennings wasn’t a match for him, but her name remains on the registry because she still has hope that her DNA can help someone suffering.

"If there’s a way for us to be able to reach out and help someone and give them an opportunity they don't have and we have the opportunity to give them, three, six years, why not do it?" Carden-Jennings said.

There are currently 5,870 people awaiting a bone marrow donor.

To get on the list, you can fill out a form. Then, you can swab the inside of your cheek and if your DNA matches with someone in need, Be the Match will contact you.

To be an eligible donor, you must be between the ages of 18 and 40 years old.

Carden-Jennings will soon age out of the system and that's why she said it's so important for more people to sign up. 

"I know today the people that are on the registry are replacing me," Carden-Jennings said.

She also said that she is hopeful another family can experience a miracle. 

"Get everyone out there. You can save a life," Carden-Jennings stated.

People can also get their swabs done at HCA Florida Northside Hospital in St. Petersburg on Thursday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. to get on the donor list. 

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