West Branch Lions Club To Hold Bone Marrow Drive

The drive with Be the Match is in support of Coach Pedersen and others in hopes of a lifeline.

By Matt Chinander  |   November 24, 2022, 2:28 p.m.

The West Branch Lions Club has announced they will be holding a bone marrow drive for long-time West Branch Football head coach, Butch Pedersen. The drive, which is in connection with Be the Match, will be held with the hope of finding potential bone marrow donors, not just for Pedersen, but other blood cancer patients.

The drive will occur on Wednesday, December 7th, from 5:00pm-8:00pm in the West Branch High School Commons. Any health adult age 18-40 is eligible to participate. Participants will be asked to fill out a brief questionnaire and will have their cheek swabbed. That sample will then be used to find a tissue match for Pedersen.

More information about the drive can be found in the below press release from the Lions Club.

What: Bone Marrow Donor Drive

When: Wednesday, December 7, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Where: West Branch High School Commons (use the middle school entrance)

Who: Healthy adults, age 18-40

How: Fill out a brief questionnaire (volunteers available to assist), then swab your cheek

Why: To find possible bone marrow donors for Coach Butch Pedersen and other blood cancer patients

More information: www.BeTheMatch.org

Contact: Kari Zuniga, 319-400-2814; Mike Quinlan, 319-631-4017; Greg Humrichouse, 319-471-0525; Steven Grace, 319-430-1133

Bone Marrow Drive to Be Held for Long-Time Coach and Teacher 

The West Branch Lions Club is hosting a bone marrow donor drive to support long-time coach and teacher Butch Pedersen. From 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, December 7th, the Lions will host the event at the West Branch High School to help find potential bone marrow donors for the national organization “Be The Match.”

Ideal candidates are ages 18-40 years old. Prospective donors will fill out an online form and then swab their cheek. From there, “Be The Match” can enter the tissue type into their registry and see if it matches Butch, or any other blood cancer patients. 

Should a tissue match be found, the donor would then spend 20-30 hours over several weeks to complete the donation process. Prospective donors must be willing to commit to the process to assist a blood cancer patient.

If you cannot make the event, or live outside the area, you can still help by visiting www.BeTheMatch.org and requesting a donor kit that can be completed from home.

Every three minutes a person is diagnosed with blood cancer. Earlier this year, Pedersen was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome, a blood cancer. As part of his treatment, Butch will need a bone marrow transplant. 

“When the Pedersen family approached our club about helping out, the support was unanimous,” Lions President Greg Humrichouse said. “Coach Pedersen has impacted so many lives in the community; this is a way we can help him in his fight.”

As a football coach, Pedersen is in the top ten in all-times wins in the state of Iowa with 337. He has been the head varsity coach at West Branch since 1983, winning three state championships and reaching the playoffs 29 times. Pedersen has also taught at all levels within the West Branch Community School District, currently serving as a substitute teacher while in retirement.

Be The Match®, operated by the National Marrow Donor Program® (NMDP), is a nonprofit organization that’s dedicated to helping every patient get the life-saving transplant they need.