Bone Marrow donor drive honors Choctaw girl

Dear Editor,
“Labor of Love” bone marrow and blood drive honors Tallie Anderson, a 10-year-old American Indian girl of Choctaw and Irish ancestry who battles aplastic anemia, a rare, life-threatening and non-contagious bone marrow disorder. The drive needs donors from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 29 at FireLake Discount Foods.

Citizen Potawatomi Nation FireLake Enterprises is organizing the drive to support the Anderson family in hopes of finding a donor match for Tallie, but they also want to increase the number of American Indian people on the National Marrow Donor Program registry. According to the NMDP Web site there is a critical need for donors of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds because race and ethnicity matter in finding a match.

“We’re not asking for money. We’re asking for bone marrow,” said Roger Anderson, Tallie’s father. “We’re saying you might not match Tallie, but you might match somebody else.”

FireLake Enterprises, the Oklahoma Blood Institute and NMDP are working together to ensure every person in need of a bone marrow transplant will have the best chance of finding a donor match.

If you are between the ages of 18 and 60, willing to fill out a health questionnaire, sign a consent form and donate a sample of your DNA through a mouth swab you will have performed an act of generosity and compassion.

The donor drive is open to the public. Donors will receive a free OBI backpack, a blood pressure and pulse check, and a cholesterol test.

To get involved, and to join the registry in your area, call Tara Scott, OBI Key Account Manager at (405) 419-1369 or (405) 973-4467 or e-mail Stacy McLeod, NMDP Coordinator at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

For Tallie’s full story and to view photos, visit LaVerne Douglas BLOG at

LaVerne Douglas

Shawnee, Oklahoma

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