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Hard Rock Hotel Chicago hosting donor drive for manager Carlyle Robinson

Hard Rock Hotel Chicago is partnering with Delete Blood Cancer DKMS to host the property’s first-ever bone marrow drive on Friday, February 7, 2014. The drive will be held for the property’s Hotel Manager, Carlyle Robinson, who has recently been diagnosed with Myelodysplastic Syndrome and is in need of a bone marrow transplant. According to Delete Blood Cancer DKMS, the best chance of finding a genetic match lies with those of a similar racial or ethnic background. Just 30 percent of listed donors are members of ethnic minorities, and of that percentage, African Americans only make up seven percent.

Timed to the beginning of Black History month, the drive will fill two very imperative needs: to help find a match for Carlyle—a Harley Davidson enthusiast, die-hard Bears fan, hardworking hotel manager and loving husband and father—and also to raise awareness of blood cancers, specifically addressing the critical need for African American volunteer bone marrow donors. Even with a registry of millions, six out of ten patients never receive the lifesaving transplant they need. Carlyle is bravely sharing his story to encourage more potential African American donors to volunteer and take action, thus increasing the likelihood that all patients will find a lifesaving match.

“This drive is incredibly important to us as a company and community,” said Carrie Meghie, Principle, Becker Entertainment, owners of the Hard Rock Hotel Chicago. “Not only do we hope to find a match for our friend and manager, Carlyle, but we must raise awareness of the critical need for donors, especially from ethnic minorities.”

“I want to draw awareness to this disease and the impact it has on the African American community, particularly because of the trouble there is to find donors,” said Carlyle Robinson, Hotel Manager of the Hard Rock Hotel Chicago. “While I hope to find a donor match, I believe that if we can build mindfulness about the lifesaving possibilities of registering to be a donor, we will truly have accomplished something great for the African American community.”

The drive will be held in the Hard Rock Hotel Chicago’s Fender Ballroom February 7, 2014 from 9 am - 6 pm. The registration process is simple and painless consisting of a quick swab of the inside of the mouth and the completion of a registration form. Donors’ tissue type and ID information are then added to the Be The Match Registry® which is searched by doctors looking for matches for their patients.

If confirmed to be a match after the quick and painless swab, there are two ways to donate. The most common method is a Peripheral Blood Stem Cell (PBSC) donation achieved through an extraction of blood from the donor’s bloodstream and does not involve surgery. PBSC Collection is a non-surgical, outpatient procedure that takes about 4-8 hours on 1-2 consecutive days. The second method is bone marrow donation in which liquid marrow is collected from the back of the pelvic bone using a special syringe. Donors receive general anesthesia so no pain is experienced during the marrow extraction. This is a 1-2 hour outpatient, surgical procedure. Only five percent or less of a donor’s marrow is needed for transplantation and will completely replenish within a few weeks, so you can save a life without giving up anything permanently.

The method used for donation depends upon the patient’s needs and is determined by the patient’s doctor. Registered donors must be willing to donate using either method. Anyone interested in registering, but unable to attend the drive, can register on the Delete Blood Cancer website.

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