This Friday, February 3, 2012 from 4-6pm, at the International Center, OISS will be hosting a bone marrow drive to try and help find a donor for a fellow Spartan on campus who is suffering from Leukemia.

This cancer is fatal and in order to try to save the student’s life, a bone marrow transplant is needed. Finding a donor is a difficult process as only 25% of family members are matches for the patient. Of those who need a donor, 70% do not have a family member who is a match. Of those needing a match, people of different ethnic backgrounds are in the most need. Persons with the same ethnic background as the patient are more likely to be a match than those of a different background. On the registry so far, only 28% are non-white.

There are many myths associated with a bone marrow transplant which I would like to clarify:

  • First of all, in order to see if someone is a match all that is required is a swab of the cheek, no needles, no pain.
  • Second, not all bone marrow transplants require surgery; some can be done by blood stem cell donations. If a surgery is needed for the transplant, the surgery is painless as local or general anesthesia is used. The recovery time is usually a few days due to a bit of soreness in the lower back.
  • As for the cost to the donor, it is non-existent. The donor does not pay a penny to donate. Donations are appreciated but not required.

A bone marrow transplant can help save a life of the thousands of people who suffer each year and are in desperate need of a donor. This Friday OISS has decided to hold this drive to not only help save our fellow Spartan but to educate students and faculty members on bone marrow and encourage all to sign up for the Be the Match Registry® to help save lives around the United States.

Many people around the world suffer from diseases that require bone marrow transplants.

At any given time, about 7,500 Americans are actively searching the national registry for an unrelated donor. – Institute for Justice

In our life, many of us will come across people who need our help for a transplant. This lack of available donors will kill approximately 22,000 adults and 700 children each year in America.   – Institute for Justice

My 3-year-old cousin was born with Leukemia and suffered since his birth. My aunt and uncle did everything they could try and save his life. They traveled across the US to meet with potential donors, to speak with professional doctors, and provide the best care for their son. Sadly, no suitable donor was found and his life was taken. There are thousands of people with stories similar to that of my aunt and uncle. Your help would be greatly appreciated!

Please come out and sign up for the registry, you could save a life!

Anna Graziano is a fourth-year undergraduate student who was born in Kansas and has lived in Brazil, South Africa, Japan and around the United States. She is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Comparative Cultures and Politics at MSU’s James Madison College with minors in Portuguese and Educational Studies. Her interests vary from African culture to refugee services. Anna serves as a Programming Intern at OISS.