WWL-TV hosts 'Perfect Match' phone bank to enlist donors on Thursday morning



Posted on June 27, 2012 at 10:31 PM

Updated Thursday, Jun 28 at 5:38 AM

Mike Hoss / Eyewitness News
Email: mhoss@wwltv.com | Twitter: @mhosswwl

Following the recent health news from Sally-Ann Roberts' sister Robin, we here at WWLTV are joining forces with Sally-Ann and Robin to raise awareness about the importance of bone marrow and organ donation.

Becoming the perfect match for someone in need is easy and the impact on both people's lives is immeasurable.

Becoming a bone marrow or an organ donor is one of those things many people don't think about until it strikes close to home, as it did for our Channel 4 family.

“You know that you've done something to change the life of somebody else,” Natalie Rowe said, “to give someone hope and a second chance at life.”

When Robin Roberts found out she would battle cancer for a second time, she called it a blessing that her big sister Sally-Ann was a perfect match to provide her a bone marrow donor.

Becoming a member of the bone marrow registry is as simple as a cheek swab. Nothing else happens unless you are found to be a perfect match.

The need is great for every ethnicity, especially among African-Americans, Hispanics and Asians.

“Because you are more likely to match someone within your own ethnic background, we need to make sure every race joins the bone marrow registry,” Rowe said.

More than 114,000 people are currently on a waiting list for an organ or tissue donation; more than 1,800 of those people are in Louisiana.

Registering to become an organ donor can be done by filling out a form on a website. By doing so, you would have the opportunity to touch many other lives.

 “One person can save the life of nine people and one person can also save the lives of 50 people with tissue,” Cheryl McGee Hills said.

Through this challenge, the Roberts sisters are devoted to raising awareness to the great need of bone marrow and organ donation.

Two sisters with a special bond that fills the hearts of the very people they're helping.

“It feels like it’s a family connection,” Hills said. “We're all coming together as a family, a community, a team. I'm there with her.”

Getting on the bone marrow registry or becoming an organ donation is as easy as a phone call or a click on a website.

Thursday morning, volunteers and Channel 4 employees will staff a phone bank, live during the morning news, to get you to call in and sign up to become a life donor.

It will begin a 6-a-m. and volunteers will be here to answer your questions.

We will also hear from a few of the people who have been on the list waiting for the perfect match.