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Bone Marrow Testing Determines Compatibility

Jennifer Skagen, a Wenatchee woman diagnosed with leukemia, needs a bone marrow transplant to survive.

Pines Baptist Church is trying to help.

So far, no one from the Skagen’s family is a compatible donor, so the church will search for one Tuesday.

Skagen’s aunt, Midge Braman, is a Valley resident and member of Pines Baptist.

Braman, other members of Skagen’s family and friends are now organizing bone marrow testing days at various Eastern Washington and North Idaho sites. Volunteers can be tested Tuesday at Pines Baptist, 714 S. Pines, from noon to 6 p.m.

Potential donors must be between the ages of 18 and 60, in general good health, not excessively overweight and be willing to pay a $20 test fee. Family members also are trying to raise money to pay test fees for those unable to pay. Donations are accepted at Farmers and Merchants Bank branches in Washington.

Test results will be recorded in a national database, so if donors are unable to help Skagen, they might be of help to another patient.

Skagen, 42, was raised in Worley, Idaho. Now she has four children, ranging to age 13.

Braman said that Skagen knows finding a donor will be difficult, but remains optimistic. “It’s absolutely amazing how much courage this gal has,” Braman said.

The response of folks helps. At a marrow testing day in Wenatchee last week, 800 people showed up.

There are other places that people can be tested, too. Residents of Rockford can drive to nearby Worley on Monday. The Worley Grange will be the site of testing from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Prairie View Elementary School in Post Falls also will hold testing on Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Women’s conference

Three Valley churches - Valley Fourth Memorial, Valley Bible and Berean Bible - are helping to sponsor a women’s conference May 17-18. The conference will be held at Valley Fourth’s sister church, Fourth Memorial Church, 2000 N. Standard. Advance registration is requested.

This fall, women from the three churches joined women from five Spokane churches to form Spokane Sister Act. “This is their first-time effort of sponsoring a conference,” said Debi Pauletto, a conference organizer. “It’s crossing church boundaries city-wide.”

The name “Sister Act” spurs thoughts of the Whoopie Goldberg movies by that name, but really conveys the group’s philosophy of sisterhood and action, Pauletto said.

The conference will feature a program for church leadership May 17. On May 18, the program focuses of friendships, Pauletto said.

The speaker will be Jeanne Hendricks, a lecturer and author. The cost for each session is $10, or $15 for both days.

Catholicism classes

Interested in Catholicism? Saint John Vianney Catholic Church, 503 N. Walnut, has started its Rite of Christian Initiation classes for people who want to learn more about the Roman Catholic Church. For more information, call 926-5553.

, DataTimes

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