This summer, the Ross Medical Education Center Bowling Green, Kentucky campus held a bone marrow donation drive for Be the Match. Be the Match spent the last quarter of a century managing the largest and most diverse marrow registry in the world. Their goal is to make survival and recovery a reality for all of those diagnosed with blood diseases. After being diagnosed with diseases such as leukemia, lymphoma, among a variety of others, a bone marrow transplant may be the only hope for a cure for some patients.
When an individual is in need of a bone marrow transplant, their family members are first to be tested to see if they are a match. However, there are roughly 70% of patients needing a transplant who do not have a full match within their family. That’s where Be the Match comes in and makes the difference between life and death for many patients. Be the Match collects samples through drives like the one that Ross Bowling Green hosted. To collect these samples, they use cotton swabs then process and place the information in their registry. If a patient is found to be a match with someone in their registry, they then coordinate the retrieval and delivery of the bone marrow to the patient in need.
“I became familiar with Be the Match in 2016 when a friend from school was diagnosed with a disease and told that she needed a bone marrow transplant,” shared Chris Leonard, Assistant Director of Education at Ross in Bowling Green. “A drive was held in her name and she recently has reported that her transplant was successful. This is the second year that our campus has hosted a drive and our students were more than willing to help. We had 19 students become a part of the registry. I am very proud of their willingness to give and help others.” Although this is only the second round of Bowling Green Ross students that have joined the registry, it certainly won’t be the last!