Bone Marrow Drive Seeks Donors and Volunteers

St. Scholastica's Student Newspaper
The Cable
By: Jimmy Lovrien - Student Journalist -

The sixth annual bone marrow registration drive will be held in the student union from 9 AM to 5 PM on April 11th, held by Saint Scholastica's Health Interprofessional Program, with a goal of adding more than 250 individuals to the list of potential bone marrow donors.

"The goal is to get as many people to sign up and join the national bone marrow registry list. The national bone marrow registry list is checked by physicians almost daily to find matches for their patients who need a bone marrow transplant," said Samantha Mattson, an event organizer who donated bone marrow after registering in the drive in her freshman year.

Carla Kes echoed this goal, "If we can have more people join the registry, we are helping the fight to delete blood cancer. Bone marrow transplant patients are the heart of fight against blood cancer."

The process of joining the registry is relatively easy, the organizers say.

"They will swab the inside of their own cheek...and that's it, they're signed up and get to walk away with a sticker and a sweet bracelet!" Mattson explained, adding there is only a short paper work process that precedes the swab.

"The drive is not to actually take your bone marrow, no needles, no pain! That is a huge misconception," Mattson clarified.

"I felt like an easy way to help others and potentially save someone's life," said freshman Mitchel Welters, who joined the registry last month.

If a potential donor on the list is a match one of two methods could be implemented to obtain bone marrow.

The most common method (approximately 75% of donations) consists of "a machine that filters out the blood stem cells and then returns the rest of your blood back to your body through the other arm," according to deletebloodcancer.org.

The remaining donations require a syringe to collect marrow from the pelvic bone, resulting in several days of mild discomfort.

When asked if he considered the potential for pain when registering, Welters said he had, but felt the "pain is worth someone else's life."

Volunteers are also needed for the April 11th event. Individuals interested in helping should report to one of the following ten minute meetings: Monday, April 7th at 2 PM in the Mitchell Kitchenette; Tuesday, April 8th at 3:00 in Tower 87 (by Storms); or Wednesday, April 9th in Tower 4105.