BOISE - It's now much easier for people in the Treasure Valley to help save a life.
St. Luke's Mountain States Tumor Institute in Boise announced it is the first site in the state that can collect donations for the national "Be The Match" registry.
St. Luke's MSTI recently conducted it's first donation. A man who signed up to be a donor 20 years ago while he was a student at Boise State got a call that he was a match.
The director for St. Luke's MSTI's blood and marrow transplant program says the move makes it much easier to collect donations in our region.
"This is a big step for our local community. Not only the Boise area, but actually we're having people sent to us to collect stem cells from as far away as California, because there is no other sites. The nearest sites to have stem cells collected are Salt Lake and Seattle and those sites up to this point in time have been so busy they've been unable to collect many patients," said Dr. William Kreisle, St. Luke's MSTI Blood and Marrow Transplant program.
St. Luke's is also working to open a transplant program in April that will allow transplants using cells from a family member.
If someone needed a transplant from a donor in the past, they had to travel to Salt Lake or Seattle.
Now they will be able to stay here locally if the donor is family.