Blood Donation Helps Cancer Research - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Blood Donation Helps Cancer Research

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Donating blood has endless benefits, and now it can help researchers find a cure for cancer.

Kim Wagner of Fargo says, "It just changes how you look at life. It doesn't matter that I don't have breasts. It's that I'm still alive."

Just over a year ago, Kim's life changed when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

"It wasn't unexpected, my mother had breast cancer so it runs in our family," says Kim.

Now that her latest tests have come back clean, Kim is trying to change the future for others who might face the same struggles she did.

Sanford Medical Oncologist, Shelby Terstriep, says, "With this type or research, this type of ongoing testing, we're going one step closer to finding, to curing all sorts of diseases."

Sanford has a blood donation program where your DNA will go into a BioBank, where researchers will use it to help find answers and a cure for breast cancer.

Terstriep says, "We're able to see what genes are turned on or turned off that make us predisposed to certain diseases."

And anyone can do it - male or female, even people who suffer from diseases.

The whole process takes about 20 minutes, and once you're in the chair, only about 5 minutes for them to draw 2 to 3 teaspoons of blood.

Sanford says the focus right now for the BioBank is breast cancer, but it will be put towards finding cures for many other diseases.

Kim says, "My mother ended up dying from pancreatic cancer, so watching her die was very difficult. I think by participating in the BioBank, my hope is that we can make it possible so someday my kids won't have to watch their mother die."

Sanford Health is trying to get 100,000 people to donate. For more information on how you can donate, visit Sanford's BioBank web site at www.sanfordresearch.org/biobank

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