🦴 Fort Drum Bone Marrow Guy 🦴
Hi Y’all!! I’m a 21 year old 92Y (Unit Supply) SPC stationed at Fort Drum. !! I solely manage and lead the Department of Defense Bone Marrow Registry program, AKA Salute to Life, here at Drum. I help soldiers, their dependents, retirees, and DOD Civilian personnel join the national pool of potential bone marrow donors to directly save the lives of cancer patients.
I learned about Salute to Life when I was in 92Y AIT through a Reddit post by the Fort Bliss Bone Marrow Guy. He ran bone marrow registry events by himself to help save the lives of patients suffering from leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma, and other blood and bone related diseases. He got me in contact with Salute to Life’s Sr Recruiter CMSgt (ret) Chad Ballance. Chad gave me all the tools I needed to succeed in my endeavor. He explained all of the ins and outs of how our program works and how I can lead the charge here at Fort Drum. I learned everything about STL in the course of 8 months and developed my own speech to present my operation. I have made it my mission to find donors here so we can give hope and life to those babies, toddlers, women and men fighting cancer.
Essentially what I do in 5 easy steps is: 1. Walk into a Battalion HQ, get in touch with their command team and inform them of who I am, who I represent and how my initiative helps save the life's of cancer patients in need of a bone marrow/ stem cell transplant. 2. I schedule a date to run a registry event at said Battalion with the help of the command team. 3. I show up at said event with pens, registration kits, brochures, banners, QR codes, and instruction sheets. I give the Battalion formation a short, yet very informative 5 minute speech about the importance of registering as a marrow donor. 4. I give soldiers instructions to either come join me at my table or carry out with their tasks. 5. | help soldiers register by scanning a QR code on their phone which leads them to a ~ 5 minute questionnaire where they put their personal information (I have zero access to this information) then I provide instructions on how to do the mouth swab. Once the event is complete, I go ship the kits to Salute to Life, the DODs Marrow Registry Program.
A few weeks ago I had the honor of meeting with my DIV CSM, CSM Mobar and the MEDDAC command group and explain to them the objectives of our operation for Fort Drum. The meeting was a success and I was authorized to deliver my message across every brigade, battalion, and company across post.
I work at an aviation brigade and we started doing aerial gunnery a week or so after my meeting with Division, this meant that I would start working nights and have free time during the day to speak to battalions. This change in schedule gave my operation an opportunity of a lifetime. I would work 2200-0600, go home, rest, wake up at 1100. At 1200 I started going battalion to battalion all over Fort Drum asking commanders and CSMs if I could run events in their Battalions. In less than 48 hours I visited every single headquarters BN command team and got a green light from 13 of them, 13 events scheduled in TWO days!!! Another 9 TBD on a date, but confirmed to be on board and support my cause.
This initiative I’m leading would still be “stuck in the mud” if it were not for all of the amazing support I have received from Fort Bliss’ “Bone Marrow Guy”, Chad Ballance, my Company, Battalion, Brigade and Division Command Teams. It makes me incredibly joyful knowing that I have the unwavering support of them all.
In the past four weeks I have helped over 430 soldiers and their families register as life saving stem cell/ marrow donors. I’m hoping to reach 1000 in the next 2 weeks.
Dm me if you have any questions about how you can be part of this incredible program or any general questions :)
Subscribe to our newsletter
Promotions, new products and sales. Directly to your inbox.