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have you ever hosted a swab party?

I haven’t either.

I used to think that registering as a bone marrow donor was a complicated thing. And that if you ended up being a match, donating bone marrow was even more complicated…and really awful and painful. I have honestly never even thought that I needed to register as a donor (dumb, I know)…until Sydney. Sydney is the 9 year old niece of our good friends Dave and Amanda. She is now in her second battle with leukemia and needs a bone marrow transplant.

I just need to insert something right here…I hate cancer. 🙁

Did you know it is super easy to register as a bone marrow donor? I had no idea either. It takes about five minutes and all you do is swab the inside of your cheek…that’s it! If you can’t find a bone marrow drive near you, you can actually order a kit online (for free) and swab yourself at home. And if you love a good party, invite your friends or co-workers to join the registry along with you and host a swab party! Who knew you could have a swab party?!

Isn’t Sydney adorable? We have been praying hard for this sweet girl and my mama’s heart just aches for Sydney and her family. Childhood cancer stinks. And if you are like me you always wish there was something you could do to help. Well, this time there is! And the great thing is not only could you possibly be helping Sydney but also others who are fighting blood cancer.

* * * * *

The flier is for our local drive in Newton that is happening next weekend, but there are lots of ways everyone can get involved:


 If you are between the ages of 18-55, meet the health criteria, and live in the Newton or Wichita areas mark your calendars! There are two drives going on around here which makes it so easy for you…all you have to do is show up. Remember…it only takes about 5 minutes.

Saturday, November 16
9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Koerner Heights Church
320 N Meridian Street, Newton, KS

Tuesday, November 19
10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Asbury Church 
2801 W 15th Street, Wichita, KS


You can still help! Did you know you can order a kit that will be sent to your home, swab yourself and send it in? Or…that you can host a swab party and invite friends and coworkers to get on the registry along with you?

To order your kit and register online go to Delete Blood Cancer.  Under Quick Links click Become a Donor/Register Online.  This will take you through the process to order your swab kit.  In the personal data section there is a drop down menu that asks where you heard about Delete Blood Cancer and you can choose “Sydney Balzer”  so that everyone can be linked in order to see how many people were added in honor of Sydney!


YOU ARE NEEDED!! College students, ages 19-25 have the BEST marrow for transplants…they have the lowest rate of their marrow being rejected next to siblings! So, if you are a college student would you consider registering online by ordering a swab kit or hosting a swab party on your campus? Go to Delete Blood Cancer for more information.


Right now Sydney has two possible matches from the donor list and neither one of them can be located. Friends and family are spreading the word and hosting drives in order to get as many new names on the list as possible. The plan is for her doctors to run a new report sometime after Thanksgiving when all of these drives are over. Would you consider ordering your swab kit or hosting a swab party before then too? We’d love to get as many new names on the registry as possible and we are praying that one of them would be Sydney’s match! You can join us in praying for Sydney too!

If you order a swab kit or host a swab party I’m sure Sydney’s family would love to know…so leave a comment! And if you have any questions you can leave a comment or visit the Delete Blood Cancer site. You can find a few more facts about bone marrow donation and what happens if you are selected as a match below for those who are wondering.

To learn more about Sydney’s story watch this local news segment and follow the Team Sydney Facebook page.

*all information gathered from Delete Blood Cancer

  • Christine - Already in the registry but praying hard for this little girl. My brother underwent transplant 4 years ago.ReplyCancel

    Jess Reply:

    Christine-So thankful your brother found a match. Thanks for praying!

    • Jess - Christine-So thankful your brother found a match. Thanks for praying!ReplyCancel

  • Beth - I’ve been swabbed! And it is the easiest thing ever. A bone marrow transplant saved my sweet friend Leigha’s life and I am thankful everyday to the stranger that donated to her.ReplyCancel

    Jess Reply:

    Beth-How awesome!

  • Elaine - I am so glad to hear you are doing this! I am already registered and it was so quick and easy to do. If you are lucky enough to be a match for someone, I think any sort of pain or discomfort you have to go through would be worth it 100 times over if it means you are saving someones life.

    It’s very important that after you are registered you remember to update your contact information any time you move, change phone numbers, emails, etc. so that you can be reached if you are a match.ReplyCancel

    Jess Reply:

    Elaine-Yes, so true. Any pain and discomfort would be worth it if you had the privilege of saving someones life!

    • Jess - Elaine-Yes, so true. Any pain and discomfort would be worth it if you had the privilege of saving someones life!ReplyCancel

  • Celine - What a wonderful thing you are doing. I hope they find a match. Is this only for Americans? I am Canadian.ReplyCancel

    Jess Reply:

    Celine-check the website There is a contact tab with email information if you want to email them with more questions!

  • Allison - I’m so glad for this post since I’ve been meaning to register & end up either putting it off or forgetting. Both my husband & myself just registered, so I hope we’re able to match someone & help in some way!!ReplyCancel

    Jess Reply:

    Allison-that is so great! Thanks so much for helping.

  • Kathy Apple - Hi Jess. I was swabbed a few years ago thru Be The Match. I hope Sydney finds her hero. Praying for her.ReplyCancel

  • Amanda - Jess, thank you so much for getting the word out! It means so much!!! I know that there are more people other than Sydney needing a hero…and I know God has a plan in all of this! Thank you for being a part of it. Love you!ReplyCancel

  • Aimee - Oh my heart aches for this family! We have just recently experienced this awful disease called leukemia with my best friend’s son (who just happens to be my 7 year old son’s best friend)! He found out a month ago he has leukemia and is battling with a rock star attitude and doing really well so far! YES….cancer stinks! He amazingly so far does not have to have a bone marrow transplant as he has the ALL for of it and not AML but we as a neighborhood all offered to donate bone marrow if needed! I will be praying for this sweet girl as I pray for my little pal Parker as they battle leukemia together! The one thing that this stinky cancer has taught us is how to come together as a community and how to form prayer chains that spread from one end of the US to the other!ReplyCancel

  • Patti - I was swabbed 5 years ago thru Be the Match as one of our local firefighters was fighting for his life. Thank you for raising awareness for this cause.
    Patti from Northwest IndianaReplyCancel

  • Kristen - I just registered and sent a bulk e-mail to all my friends and family to do the same! Didn’t realize how easy it was to register. Thanks for raising awareness. Praying for everyone that is waiting for the right match everywhere.ReplyCancel