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Blood drive held in honor of late Kzoo doctor
PORTAGE, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) – After losing her husband to blood cancer, a Richland woman is determined to carry out his wish to help others.
A well-known physician in Kalamazoo, Dr. Mike Kaiser, passed away from blood cancer in February of 2012.
When he was undergoing inpatient chemotherapy at Bronson Hospital, he told his wife Tina he wanted to do something to help save the lives of others in similar situations.
“During his treatment, he received 70 units of blood,” Tina Kaiser says. “He felt guilty using so much blood and wanted to host a blood drive. Unfortunately he didn’t get to see that through.”
So after Mike’s death, Tina Kaiser teamed up with Michigan Blood to set up a blood drive in memory of her husband. At the blood drive on Monday, people will also be able to save lives in another way, by joining the Be the Match Registry, to potentially help someone who desperately needs a bone marrow or stem cell transplant.
“Only four out of ten patients that turn to the Registry will find their matching donor,” says Ryan Heinhuis of Michigan Blood. “So for us it’s very important that we add more people to the Registry and continue to raise awareness so that anyone who needs a bone marrow or stem cell transplant has an equal chance at finding that donor.”
Kaiser adds, “If we could just help save an additional life, I don't know why people wouldn’t want to give that gift to somebody else.”
It typically costs 25 dollars to join the Be the Match Registry, but Dr. Kaiser’s colleagues at Kalamazoo Anesthesiology and the Surgical Group of Southwest Michigan have donated to the cause, making it free for the first 100 people.
The Dr. Kaiser Memorial Bone Marrow Registry and Blood Drive will take place from 2-7pm on Monday, March 11th at Kalamazoo Country Day School, located at 4221 E. Milham Avenue in Portage. Appointments to donate blood are recommended. For more information, click here: www.miblood.org