Students of Northwestern College’s Honors Program hosted a successful two-day Bone Marrow Donor Drive at the Bridgeview Campus (7725 S. Harlem Avenue) on May 14-15. Fifty two (52) people participated, including students, faculty, and staff of Northwestern College as well as members of the public. The drive was held in conjunction with the College’s “Celebrate Teaching and Learning Week” activities and was facilitated in connection with Delete Blood Cancer DKMS, a leading organization in the fight to eradicate blood cancer.
The 52 participants each donated 5-6 minutes of their time to complete bone marrow donor registration forms (to provide pertinent information) and then to have swabs taken of the inside of their cheeks. The swabs have been sent in for testing and possible matches with recipients in
need of bone marrow transplants. Swabs will also be tested for possible blood stem cell matches. If a match is determined, volunteer donors will be contacted and re-confirmed, with appointments scheduled for the actual donations. The earliest a donor could learn that they are a match is 3-4 weeks, however the donor remains in the registry and could potentially be a match in the future, up until their 61st birthday.
Chances of a donors being a match to a patient in need are less than 1 in 1000. If a donor does match, Delete Blood Cancer will cover any costs the donor incurs as a result of their donating, and they will fly the donation anywhere in the world where the matched patient resides. Thus donors who are a match do not incur any out-of-pocket expenses while providing a potentially life-saving gift to a patient in need anywhere around the world.
“There is an unmet need for bone marrow donations both nationally and internationally, and we hope that this 2-day donor drive will help boost participation in this program,” commented Elvia Velazquez, a Member of Northwestern College’s Honors Program. “Hopefully today’s donors will help to increase and diversify the bone marrow donor registry. We also hope that they’ll share with others the urgent need for bone marrow donors, encouraging others to become donors as well.”
Delete Blood Cancer DKMS is an organization that leads the fight to delete blood cancer by empowering people to take action, give bone marrow and consequently, save lives. It also facilitates the testing of swabs gathered during the donation drives. Delete Blood Cancer has over 3 million registered bone marrow donors worldwide, making it the largest bone marrow donor center in the world. For more information on Delete Blood Cancer or to obtain a donor kit via US mail, see http://www.deletebloodcancer.org/home.html.