Ross Medical Education Center in Midland, Michigan welcomed MacKenzie VanDerWarf from Michigan Blood’s Be the Match registry to inform the staff, faculty, and students at the campus about bone marrow donation. Students from the Medical Assistant program joined with faculty and staff to hear the presentation.
The students, faculty, and staff were introduced to Baby Clara in an opening video depicting the story of a match success. Baby Clara received a donation from a football player that saved her life. The video informed those watching of the importance of the registry and its mission to serve patients with leukemia, sickle cell anemia, and other blood cancers. “Every three minutes someone is diagnosed with a blood cancer,” commented MacKenzie.
During MacKenzie’s presentation, she explained that there is a need for diverse potential donors, as more than 70% of all registered donors are caucasian. MacKenzie visits many facilities across the state of Michigan to educate and inform potential donors, who must be between the ages of 18-44, about joining the registry.
MacKenzie explained that if a person is a potential match, they go through testing to ensure they are a healthy candidate. When a healthy candidate has been identified, all donor expenses incurred through the donation process are paid for by Be the Match, including lost wages, travel expenses, meals, and hotel stays.
By the end of MacKenzie’s presentation, there were five Midland campus students that had decided to newly join the registry. Once again, the Ross students eagerly volunteered, in hopes that they will “be the match” and help someone in need. Across the campuses, hundreds of Ross faculty members, staff, students, and graduates have joined the Be the Match Registry, and some of them have even been matches for those in need. That means that lives have been changed and saved because those members of the Ross team have simply joined the registry.