Alpha Epsilon Delta, American Red Cross and Be The Match are sponsoring a blood and bone marrow registry drive from noon to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 30, in the Saint Louis Room in the Busch Student Center St. Louis Room.
To sign up for an appointment to give blood, vist the Red Cross website and enter "SLU" as the sponsor code. You can call 1-866-236-3276 to find out if you are eligible to donate.
No appointment is necessary to join the bone marrow registry.
About Be The Match and bone marrow donation
Thousands of patients with leukemia, lymphoma, sickle cell and other life-threatening diseases need an unrelated marrow donor transplant. In fact, 70 percent of patients in need of a transplant do not have a matching donor in their family. They depend on the Be The Match Registry to find a match and to get a second chance at life. Many patients do find the lifesaving match they need, but more support is needed to be able to help all patients. Even with a registry of 9 million, there are patients waiting and hoping, unable to find a match.
Be The Match is desperate to add minorities to their registry. There are simply not enough racially or ethnically diverse members on the registry to meet the needs of patients.
Who can become a volunteer donor? Anyone between the ages of 18 and 60 (up until their 60th birthday) and in good general health can potentially become a volunteer marrow donor. The potential donor must be willing to donate to any patient in need. It only takes about 15 minutes to join the registry. After being educated on the donation process and signing a consent form, potential donors give a cheek cell sample that will be tested for their HLA typing. They will then be listed on the national registry.
The first thing that people say when marrow transplant is mentioned is "Doesn't it hurt if I donate to somebody?" About 75 percent of the time, the donation is done through blood donation, similar to donating platelets or plasma. An injection is given for 5 days prior to donating to increase the amount of stem cells made by bone marrow, which are released into the bloodstream. The stem cells are extracted via apheresis. Blood is removed through a needle in one arm and passed through a machine that separates out the stem cells. The remaining blood is returned to the donor through the other arm.
Other times, the donation is done through surgical marrow extraction. Under general anesthesia, hollow needles are used to withdraw liquid marrow from the pelvic bone area. This procedure is usually done if a match is made with a child or a teenager. It is important that word is spread about the two ways of donating. People believe the crazy things that they have seen in movies and television shows.
Learn more about the marrow registry and what happens when a match is found by watching a video by Be The Match.
Email Denise Mosley, a representative from Be the Match Registry, at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.