Saving lives with ACL’s help

 14520493_10154672136902472_2783282888453666928_n 14572933_10154671683752472_2824171452393040434_n

ACL Fest is helping to sign up bone marrow donors.

The ACL Music Festival is hoping fans will set aside five minutes of their fun-filled weekend to try to save a life. The festival is committed to signing up potential bone marrow donors. The goal is to help patients with leukemia and other blood cancers get bone marrow transplants and to transform a music festival into a life-saving event.

“You come and join us for five minutes — and five minutes of your life can help save another person,” said Natalie James, executive director of the Love Hope Strength Foundation.

The foundation is manning a booth at ACL Cares and is working to save lives one festival at a time.

Rob Rushing is signing up music fans to become potential bone marrow donors in a shaded area directly inside the front gates of ACL. For him the fight to grow the bone marrow registry is very personal.

“He was one of my dear friends,” said Rushing. “You’re not supposed to die at 32 years old.”

ACL and the Love Hope Strength Foundation are making sure other cancer patients find a marrow match and survive.

Abby Flynn’s mother found a match.

“This was really important to her,” said Flynn during her shift as a volunteer at the booth.

It’s clearly just as important to the 19 year old. Flynn donates her time to get people to swab the insides of their cheeks and get registered. She’s lost count of the number of people who she’s added to the registry.

“Probably somewhere around 3,000, I guess,” said Flynn.

ACL collects more samples and makes more matches than almost any other music festival in the country.

This is Josh Heath’s first ACL. He decided to potentially make the weekend a life-changing moment.

“It was simple,” said Heath. “Signed my name and address and got a swab. That’s it. Might as well get on the registry and help save a life.”

Anyone with an ACL wristband can sign up through the end of the festival at the Love Hope Strength Foundation booth at ACL Cares.