MT. VERNON — Mt. Vernon Fitness is hosting a special screening event April 21 and 22 to find local donors for those in need of a bone marrow transplant.
The event was organized to help find a donor match for 7-year-old Zach Brinkmann of Nashville, who has Fanconi anemia and needs a transplant this June.
However, the screening has the potential to benefit others awaiting transplants as well.
Anyone who attends the event and agrees to be a donor will be added to the national bone marrow registry list, said Amy Blumhorst, manager of Mt. Vernon Fitness. Amy’s husband, Ryan Blumhorst, is the owner of the fitness club.
“Ryan and I thought that this was a way to get more people in the registry to help people out,” Amy Blumhorst said. “It’s not just to help one person.”
The screening will take place from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. April 21 and 22 at Mt. Vernon Fitness, 1318 Salem Road. It is being conducted by Be The Match, a nonprofit agency that manages the national registry.
Everyone is welcome to attend. Participants will each receive a cheek swab to determine if they are an eligible donor. If willing to donate, they can also sign paperwork at the screening to be placed in the registry.
The Blumhorsts live in New Minden and are friends with Zach Brinkmann’s family.
A few bone marrow drives for Zach have been held in the Nashville area, but the Blumhorsts decided it would be a good idea to expand the screening area to include Mt. Vernon, Amy said.
“This was just a way for us to expand it a little bit and get it to Mt. Vernon,” Amy said of the screening. “(It’s) our way to try and increase the odds for the next person, too.”
Amy added that most of the Mt. Vernon Fitness clients are healthy individuals who belong to the ideal donor age group of 18 to 44.