Students can register to ‘Be the Match’ Thursday
The Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students will be sponsoring a ‘Be The Match’ registry event Thursday in Fabiano, Emmons and Woldt halls.
From 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., students will be able to be placed on a list for a potential donation if they are the match for someone who needs a bone marrow or umbilical cord blood transplant.
Anyone between the ages of 18 and 44 can sign up. However, there are some health guideline limitations, as students who have autoimmune/neurological disorders such as lupus, rheumatoid, arthritis, or multiple sclerosis will be prevented from registering.
“They can’t have HIV or hepatitis or if they have certain forms of heart disease or cancer,” Freeland junior Amanda Slezsak said. “There are some different disorders and diseases that you can’t have on the bone marrow registry list.”
Signing up to be a donator doesn’t mean you are required to donate.
“The big thing is just to have people stop by and be more educated, and if they want to go on the list, they can,” Slezsak said. “But just because they’re on the list doesn’t mean they ever have to donate. They always have the option to say no … and they can always go off the list if they want to.”
If students are called, they will be able to donate through marrow donation or peripheral blood stem cell donations.
Slezsak said she feels passionate about this event because when she was in high school, there was a student in her class with leukemia who needed a bone marrow donation. His sister was a match and was able to donate.
“For a lot of people, if they don’t get a bone marrow donation or a blood stem cell donation, they essentially aren’t going to make it for very long,” Slezsak said. “There are some cases where they can make a recovery, but a lot of times, that’s not the case.”
Scottville freshman H.G. Schaffner Pryce said he plans to register during the event Thursday and doesn’t feel nervous about potentially undergoing a procedure if he is a match. Instead, he said it would mean a lot to him if he could help someone.
“I think that would bring so much joy to me, and I would feel so much greater of a person knowing that I saved someone’s life,” Pryce said.
Slezsak said she’d love to have 25 or 30 people register during the event.
“The more people we can get on the registry, the more of a chance people can get a match,” Slezsak said. “And for a lot of people, the main thing that they really need is people of minorities or multiple races because those percentages are very low, so people who need a match have a smaller chance of getting a match.”
Those who want to register, learn more about bone marrow donation or get involved with Be The Match can speak with a representative of MAPS Thursday.
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