Midlander hopes to see residents at bone marrow registration Tuesday

Midlander hopes to see residents at bone marrow registration Tuesday
By Tony Lascari
09/10/2007
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It might be easier to help save a life than most people think.

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Ron Main of Midland got his miracle in 2001, when a donor he didn’t know offered bone marrow for a transplant used in treating Main’s cancer. Main had waited three months to find a match willing to help, and now works to spread the word that donors are needed, and it’s easy to sign up.

“It’s hard to find someone to become a donor when push comes to shove, and really, you need them to save your life,” he said. “The more people you have in the worldwide bank, the chances are better you’re going to find the help you need or for a family member in need.”

Main, 62, will be at a Michigan Community Blood Centers’ blood drive Tuesday at the Midland Mall to talk about his experiences. The drive is scheduled from 12:30 to 7:30 p.m., and will include the chance to sign up on the bone marrow registry.

“People don’t understand that there’s nothing else they have to do but sign a card,” he said.

His story took a twist when a grandson, 2-year-old Jacob Main, also needed a transplant. Jacob had Severe Combined Immunodeficiency Syndrome and also found a donor willing to help.

“My little guy, my grandson, is doing extremely well and he’s going to live a normal life by all indications,” Main said.

He said research advanced treatments between his transplant and his grandson’s five years later.

While Main’s cancer cannot be cured, it has become under control because of his treatment.

“Fortunately in my case, one person was available and was willing to be my donor,” he said.

He was surprised to learn that most donors wish to remain anonymous. His did not, and the two eventually met and have stayed in contact.

“It was just utterly amazing to get to know him, his wife and his two sons, and they’ve since adopted a daughter,” he said of the Rockford resident who gave to help him continue living his life.

Main has spent time talking with people about the need for donors and how the process works, hoping to decrease people’s wait for assistance. He’s also been involved in the Midland County Relay for Life and the Midland Community Cancer Services golf tournament.

“It’s been really rewarding,” he said. “Part of the idea of my involvement (on Tuesday) is you can in fact save someone’s life.”

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