Submitted by Katelyn Supa on Mon, 12/12/2011 - 7:12am.

DURHAM, NC (AP) -- Members of a several churches in Durham have offered DNA samples in case they could become be bone marrow or stem cell donors. The News & Observer of Raleigh reported 49 members of several churches went to First Presbyterian Church on Sunday to offer DNA samples to enter in a national registry of bone marrow and stem cell donors. The Rev. Joe Harvard says the donors are giving themselves for Christmas. Associate pastor Marilyn Hedgpeth came up with the idea after seeing how stem cells and bone marrow offered hope to two member families with loved ones suffering from cancer and other diseases. The church also raised money for the donor program and had a table for people to sign up as organ donors. (Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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