On September 8th, the Ross Medical Education center campus in Lansing welcomed representatives from the Michigan Blood chapter of Be The Match to host a bone marrow donor registry drive. This was the second consecutive year for the campus to host this drive, and it’s something they now look forward to doing annually. Last year at their drive, 36 students registered. This year, the campus leadership was so excited when 45 students decided to register as potential donors in the National Marrow Donor Program.
According to the Be The Match website, “For the thousands of people diagnosed every year with life-threatening blood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma, a cure exists. Over the past 25 years, Be The Match®, operated by the National Marrow Donor Program® (NMDP), has managed the largest and most diverse marrow registry in the world. We work every day to save lives through transplant.” The best part? The registration process is simple and painless: simply swab the inside of your cheek and put it in the approved envelope – Be The Match takes care of the rest! Since 1987, they have coordinated more than 61,000 marrow and cord blood transplants, giving 17 patients a day hope for their future.
These statistics and stories came to life recently for the Lansing campus. Be the Match says that about 1 in 500 registered donors actually goes on to be a match for a patient. One of the Ross graduates that registered at the drive in Lansing last year received a phone call that she was a match! Although she was a little nervous at first; however, after the process was explained to her she knew that if she had the opportunity to save a life, she had to take it! So, she responded to the call with a definite “YES!” She was honored and excited for the opportunity to give hope to someone who otherwise may have had none. The entire Ross community in Lansing looks forward to continuing to help those in need of a transplant by registering their students and staff.
If you are interested in joining the registry, visit Be the Match on Facebook. If you live in Michigan, you can contact, Katie McClain, Marrow Recruitment Specialist at firstname.lastname@example.org.