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SMHC News & Events

Welcome to the SMHC News & Events section. If you have something you'd like us to share or need more information about a news story posted here, please contact  our Community Relations Office at (207) 283-7234 or via e-mail at

SMHC Hosting Bone Marrow Drives for Saco Girl with Rare Blood Disease

Hayley, an active 12-year-old from Saco, is in critical need of a bone marrow transplant to treat a rare blood disease. She was first diagnosed with aplastic anemia at age 6 and endured repeated hospitalizations and blood transfusions. Her treatment was deemed a success in 2009, but in October 2014 the family learned that Hayley had suffered a relapse and needs a bone marrow transplant.

To help find a donor for Hayley, Southern Maine Health Care (SMHC) is holding bone marrow drives at its Biddeford Medical Center in Classroom B and its Sanford Medical Center in the Learning Center on March 3 from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m.

The registration is simple and it could save a life. All you need to do is complete a simple form and swab the inside of your cheek with a Q-tip, which will be sent away to see if you are a match.

Donor Requirements
People are eligible to register as a bone marrow donor if they are:
     • Between the ages of 18 and 55.
     • In general good health.
     • At least 110 pounds and 4 feet 10 inches tall.
     • Willing to donate to any patient in need.
     • A permanent U.S. resident.Learn more at

To learn more visit If you are unable to attend the screening, you can request a free at-home screening kit at the same website.

What It Means to be a Donor
Robin Emmons, who works in the ED Registration at SMHC Medical Center in Sanford, was of donor almost a year ago and shares her story: "To be a donor was an amazing experience. Though you don't know much about your recipient, you know you are saving their life. When I got the call that I was a potential match, I was ecstatic – this meant a young lady would have a second chance at life. My donation was peripheral stem cells. Though the day for donation was long, it was virtually painless. I remember thinking over and over again, 'I am giving someone a new outlook on life.'

To be screened, in my opinion, is one of the most selfless acts of kindness anyone could provide. A simple cheek swab could be the difference between life and death. Three months post donation, I received a letter stating that my recipient was doing very well. In May it will have been a year since donation and I am looking forward to meeting the young lady that now has a new outlook on life."

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