by Mariam Khan
On November 11, 2012, Rotaract hosted a bone marrow drive with Be The Match Registry. Many hear the word bone marrow, but Marrow Account Manager Danielle Vickers, encouraged BenU students that it is not painful and should be part of the registry. Rotaract volunteers recruited students to sign up simply by a swab of a cheek and filling out a form. This information is kept in the Registry, until it is genetically matched with a patient in need. There are two ways of donating bone marrow. The first, is peripheral blood stem cell donation which is the most common, non-surgical method. The second is surgical procedure under anesthesia, but donors are back to normal routine within a couple days. Why is there a need for people to join the Be The Match Registry? Thousands of patients with blood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma, sickle cell and other life-threatening diseases depend on the Registry to find a match to save their life. Patients need donors who are a genetic match, even with millions of registrants; many patients cannot find a match. Donors with diverse racial or ethnic backgrounds are especially needed, which was definitely found at a diverse campus like Benedictine University.
The common saying “no pain, no gain,” is definitely applied when it comes to donating bone marrow! Think about it, a day of pain is worth more than adding days to a someone’s life! Each new registry member brings hope to every patient; each could be the one a patient has been hoping for. Danielle Vickers, Marrow Account Manager of Be The Match stated, “I’m happy to report that we were able to add 44 new members to the Be The Match Registry! These people now give hope to thousands of people who search the registries worldwide for just one donor to give them a second chance of life. Please pass along my sincere thanks to everyone who helped out in the Benedictine University community.” Be The Match actually found a match and saved a life from Rotaract’s bone marrow drive last year, hopefully there are more success stories to come from this year’s drive!