A Dougherty Valley High School student is set to host a bone marrow registry drive at the San Ramon Art & Wind Festival next weekend.
Vivek Annadata, a freshman, said he felt inspired to organize the drive after losing his own family members to fatal diseases.
"My grandfather died before I was born of kidney cancer and my aunt died of dengue fever," Annadata said. "My aunt died because she could not find a donor in time."
After Annadata's family was unsuccessful in finding a blood donor for his aunt, he said he was driven to help others in need of life-saving donations. The San Ramon teen chose to be a leader in organizing a bone marrow drive.
"That experience exposed me first-hand not only to the distress that cancer patients live through, but also the frustration and hopelessness of trying to find a donor match," Annadata said.
Annadata originally researched information about "Be the Match" bone marrow registry drives when searching for an idea for his Eagle Scout project.
Though the concept didn't materialize for that project, Annadata said he still wanted to proceed. He contacted a coordinator for the "Be the Match" bone marrow drive and began his journey to organize a registry booth to hold at the upcoming San Ramon Art & Wind Festival -- which runs next Sunday and Monday (Memorial Day) at San Ramon Central Park.
In order to participate in the "Be the Match" bone marrow registry, interested donors must be 18-44 years old, in good health and willing to donate to any patient in need when necessary. Potential donors will also need to fill out a consent form.
If interested participants do not meet one or more of the required qualifications, they are welcome to donate financially to the drive, Annadata said.
The "Be The Match" bone marrow drive will have a booth at the festival on May 29 and 30 and will be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
For more information on becoming a donor or to donate, visit the "Be the Match" website.