Caitlin Gallagher of Michigan Blood has visited the Ross Medical Education Center campus in Lansing, Michigan on a number of occasions. But her most recent visit stands out among the others. While at the campus, Caitlin gave a moving presentation to the Lansing campus’ current enrollees, offering them an opportunity to join Be The Match. Ross students met Caitlin’s earnest plea for new donors with an overwhelming response! A whopping 31 students – nearly half of the campus population – willingly joined the Be The Match Donor Registry that day, demonstrating their compassion for others and their commitment to saving lives.
For those that are not familiar with leukemia or similar diseases, they might be surprised to learn that, according to the Be The Match website, “every three minutes someone is diagnosed with blood cancer. Also, 70% of patients needing a marrow transplant do not have a fully matched donor in their family.” This results in “14,000 patients per year whose only hope for a cure is a transplant from someone outside their family.”
“Be The Match is an amazing opportunity, and to know I could be the reason someone stays alive is a very humbling experience,” shared Rebecka Jones, a student in Lansing’s Medical Assistant program. Her classmate, Amanda Pennington, added, “I decided to become a potential donor because that could be my children one day that need this life-saving chance, and I want to be someone’s life-saving chance.”
The process of joining Be The Match is easy. Once the paperwork is completed, all that is needed is a cheek swab. When a donor is called upon to donate bone marrow, the procedure involves outpatient surgery. However, most cases simply require a peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) donation, and surgery is not required. Be The Match promises: “We’re with you every step of the way with support and information.” Another student at Ross’ Lansing campus, Bibiana Munoz-Delgado, made a significant statement, “It doesn’t hurt to try. It only hurts to not to try. You could save someone’s life; be the match.”
To learn more about Michigan Blood’s Be The Match, or to learn how you can become a donor, please visit www.bethematch.org or call their toll-free number at 1-800-627-7692 today!