Heroes called to donate

Summer Nights continues this year with more fun and activities in downtown Webster City. Additionally, organizers are planning to host a drive which helps match donors to those who need bone marrow transplants.

The first Summer Nights event on June 20 is themed, “Be a Hero.” While the Help Entertain and Restore Organization will be present and selling popcorn at the Webster Theater, the theme also encourages community members to help save lives.

Deb Brown, Webster City Area Chamber of Commerce director, said a group met on Wednesday evening to discuss the planned bone marrow registry drive. Brown said the group began after she saw Laurie Epps, a longtime marrow donor, post online about a local person who needs a transplant. Cody Crouch, who has leukemia for the second time, needs a bone marrow transplant to save his life.

“So, I responded, ‘Why don’t we do a drive?’ That’s something we could do for Cody,” Brown said.

Those who attend Summer Nights on June 20 will be able to join the “Be The Match” registry. No marrow donations will be taken at the event. Those who sign up at the drive will have the inside of their cheek swabbed to determine if their marrow could be a match for another person who needs it. Then, doctors are able to access the registry to look for possible marrow donors.

According to the Be The Match website, research has shown that donors between the ages of 18 to 44 provide marrow with the greatest chance for transplant success. As such, there is no cost to sign up for the registry for those in that group. Those wishing to sign up who are between the ages of 45 and 60 must pay $100 to be a part of the registry.

Those wishing to support Crouch and others looking for transplants can do so in other ways at Summer Nights. Brown said food will be sold in a fundraising effort for Crouch and the Be The Match program.

“Everybody’s going to have an opportunity to come downtown and be a hero one way or another,” Brown said.

More information on the registry can be found at bethematch.org.