Bloodworks Northwest is a local, independent nonprofit that connects donors to lifesaving services. Their largest program—blood donation—serves more than 90 hospitals in the region. They also provide transfusion consultations with physicians; clinical care to patients with blood diseases; research through lab work and medical breakthroughs; and support for patients undergoing transplant procedures.
The Bloodworks Cord Blood Program is the first of its kind in the Northwest and has partnerships with hospitals in Washington, Oregon, and Hawaii. Through these hospitals, Bloodworks retrieves and stores umbilical cord blood, an important component in stem cell research. These cells can also be used in cancer treatments and immune or metabolic disorders.
Bloodworks also collects bone marrow in collaboration with the National Marrow Donor Program. Bone marrow is critical in the possible cure of several diseases and some types of cancer. If you’re interested in becoming a bone marrow donor, all it takes is one cheek swab to determine what kind of match you’ll be. Only about 30 percent of people are able to find a match within their immediate family, so donors are critical.
If you’re interested in becoming any kind of donor, stop by Bellingham’s Bloodworks Northwest location on West Bakerview Road in the plaza behind Woods Coffee. The organization especially encourages those with type O blood to donate. For more information, visit bloodworksnw.org.
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