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Life Saving Program Comes to ACL

Updated: Friday, October 12 2012, 05:59 PM CDT

Usually the thousands of people who come to the Austin City Limits music festival are concentrating on their ears, but more and more people are now concentrating on their mouths as well.  Fans have been stopping by a booth to have their mouths swabbed so they can possibly save a life.

"This is a living way that you can help someone that is going through cancer," says Shannon Henn, the executive director of Love, Hope, Strength.  The organization has come to ACL for the past several years to harness what could be an incredible pool of bone marrow donors, "What we love about ACL is that it has all the demographics".

A quick swab of the cheek, and Sharon McMullen was entered into a national database where she could be a potential match for someone who has cancer; but who can be saved with a bone marrow transplant.  Sharon did it for her good friend, Nancy Meredith.

Meredith was diagnosed with cancer two years ago, but her outlook is much better today, "Last Wednesday I got the news that my stage four cancer is in remission".

Love Hope Strength volunteer Dan Sullivan, a cancer survivor himself, hopes to bring about more happy endings like that one, "We literally are saving lives, so it's pretty awesome".

Of all the festivals nationwide, ACL ranks in the top three for the number of marrow matches made this way, says Henn, "Fifteen matches already from Austin City Limits and we hope we find another fifteen this weekend".

By Jason WheelerLife Saving Program Comes to ACL


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