Most of us are aware of the Robin Roberts story.  Robin, co-host of ABC TV's Good Morning America, found out, several months ago, that she was suffering from a serious illness and would need a bone marrow transplant to save her life.  That is tough news to get.  But Robin attacked it, and she and her doctors searched for a donor.  It needed to be a perfect match and they found one...her sister.  How lucky she was.  And now, all these months later, she has returned to Good Morning America.  She's not totally out of the woods yet, but as she recovers, her prognosis is excellent.  All thanks to the National Marrow Donor Program’s international registry.

You're probably asking yourself, what about here, Grand Rapids, West Michigan?  Does that program work here?  Of course it does, but, not without your help, and the help of local businesses to raise awareness and money for the program.

That's where The Mitten Brewing Co. comes in.  They are making Michigan Blood and its Bone Marrow/Stem Cell Programs as their charity partner for the month of February 2013. Patrons are encouraged to eat, drink, and be merry, and save lives all at the same time.

Throughout February, The Mitten Brewing Co. will donate a percentage of food/beverage sales to Michigan Blood’s Be the Match® Registry program. Michigan Blood is affiliated with the National Marrow Donor Program’s international registry which matches patients needing lifesaving transplants to fight leukemia, lymphoma, and 70 other blood related diseases. The registry currently contains over 10 million donors, yet only 4 in 10 patients find a perfect match. The need to add more donors to the registry is critical, yet the average cost to do so is $100 per donor for testing. Monies donated by The Mitten Brewing Co. from February sales will help offset testing.

Not only will they donate a percentage of sales all month long, The Mitten Brewing Co. will be open this coming Monday, February 25th for a Be the Match® Program registry event. The drive will be from 5-9 pm and marrow donors, recipients, and staff will be on hand to meet guests and share their stories. Food service will be available from noon to 9 pm. The Mitten Brewing Co. is normally closed on Mondays. The Registry Drive is open to the public and those 18-44 years old are eligible to join the national registry by doing a simple cheek swab test.

The Mitten Brewing Co. is located at 527 Leonard St NW in Grand Rapids.

Questions about the National Marrow Donor Program and Be the Match Registry should be directed to Kona Dominick at 616-233-8516.