Statesboro High School student to hold bone marrow drive on-campus

Bailey Adcock

Dual enrolled student Matthew Walker, in partnership with Tau Beta Sigma and national organization Be the Match, is hosting a bone marrow donor registration drive on Wednesday, March 9 at the rotunda from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Local representative Ashley Collier will be present at the drive, explaining to students what the procedure for registering is and who registration can help.

Registration should not take very long, since students will only need to fill out paperwork and get their cheek swabbed.

Students who take part in the registration will go on the national registry of donors, giving them a chance to help out patients across the nation who are in need of a bone marrow transplant or donation.

“The mission of Be the Match is to save the lives of those battling blood cancers and blood disorders who need a life-saving bone marrow transplant,” Collier said.

Some bone marrow diseases, which lead to the need of a transplant, include leukemia, aplastic anemia and other bone marrow disorders that affect the white blood cells within a person.

As an added bonus, students who register will be given a coupon for a free Chick-Fil-a sandwich.

Walker decided to partner with Colin McKenzie, director of the Southern Pride Marching Band and Tau Beta Sigma, after their successful drive last semester.

“The Georgia Southern marching band had about 200 or so students come out last semester and I thought it was a really great thing, so I decided to bring it back,” Walker, said.

According to the official Be the Match website, donors between the ages of 18 and 45 are the most called upon donors for patients.

There is an overall lack in younger, more diverse donors which is what spurred the creation of Be the Match’s branch Be the Match On Campus.

“They need, first of all, younger and more diverse people to donate. Apparently there aren’t so many minorities donating,” Walker said.

Once you register, you will be placed on the national list until you are 61 years old, because of the greater need for younger donors.

However, students are only making the commitment to consider donating to a patient and can refuse to donate if they are ever called upon.

The Be the Match website says that about 1 in every 540 Be the Match members will go on to donate, but there is about a 1 in 70,000 chance that a member will be contacted.

More information on Be the Match can be found at bethematch.org.

Photo courtesy of Deborah Walker.