Bierschbach Dental is opening its doors to find a bone marrow match for Kristin VanLaecken. Kristen was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia and needs a stem cell transplant. Bierschbach Dental at 1203 E. 4th Avenue in Milbank will host a free Join the Marrow Registry Program on Friday, March 3, from noon to 6 p.m. “Our office will be working to help find a match for Kristin this Friday,” stated Jan Bierschbach of Bierschbach Dental. “We know we can always count on our community in times of need.”
Kristen is the mother of five small children and the wife of Dr. Rob VanLaecken, an orthodontist. Dr. VanLaecken and his brother operate four orthodontic practices in northeast South Dakota and split their time amongst Watertown, Milbank, Aberdeen, and Brookings.
According to Kathleen Holscher of Bierschbach Dental, “Every four minutes someone is diagnosed with a blood cancer – 360 people a day. We encourage you to stop in for a quick visit to see if a match for Kristin can be found.” Holscher says the process is simple and non-invasive. She explains, “It takes 10 minutes. You fill out medical history and other paperwork and then each of the four quadrants of your mouth are swabbed with a Q-tip. It’s that easy! The process of obtaining bone marrow is also non-invasive and much easier than it used to be, so there is nothing to be afraid of.”
No appointments are necessary. The swabbing is free for people ages 18 to 44. Those older than 44 need to obtain a kit online. “The most common matches come from males ages 18 to 25, so we encourage them to take part,” Holscher says.
If you go through the process, you will be listed on a nationwide registry and remain on that list until age 60. “So, even if you are not a match for Kristin,” Holster says, “you might be a match for someone else.” For more information, contact Holscher at 605-949-1341.