INDIANAPOLIS — Donating blood is always a good way to save lives, but so is donating bone marrow.
Riley Children's Hospital held a bone marrow registry drive Wednesday. Bone marrow and stem cell treatments help treat certain cancers, sickle cell disease and severe anemia.
Unfortunately, not all patients have a matching donor in their family, so they have to rely on the bone marrow of strangers.
Alayna Pittman was only nine when she needed a bone marrow and stem cell treatment due to leukemia. None of her family members were matches.
"After we found out that we were not matches, we were very nervous just thinking what if we don't find a match for her, what will we do? Because we knew that was really our only hope at that time," Brittany Pittman, Alayna's mother, said. "Within a week of her joining the 'Be the Match' registry, we were told that they found a perfect match for her and he was willing to be a donor. She went through several outpatient testings in the outpatient center, and within a month we were getting the stem cell transplant. "
It has been two years since Alayna had a bone marrow and stem cell treatment, and she is doing well and back in school.