Oct. 14, 2014 ASHLAND, Ohio – Ashland University, along with Samaritan Hospital Foundation, is sponsoring a bone marrow drive on Oct. 27 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Dwight Schar College of Nursing in Mansfield, and on Oct. 29 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Hawkins-Conard Student Center on the AU campus.
Each appointment will take about 10 minutes, and anyone between the ages 18 and 44 and in relatively good health are welcomed to participate. There will be five volunteers from the match registry and five volunteers from Samaritan Hospital helping students and others do work to find a possible bone marrow match for people in need.
The goal of the Bone Marrow Drive is to add potential donors to the Be The Match Registry. Physicians around the world search this registry when a marrow transplant is needed to cure a life threatening illness like leukemia or lymphoma.
At the drive, you are simply adding your name and tissue type to the Be The Match Registry. The registration process includes minimal paperwork and a cheek swab to determine your tissue type. Adding your information to the registry means the person will consider the possibility of becoming a donor should a match be found at a later date.
According to Tonya Davis, community engagement representative for Be The Match, once the information is entered into the registry, there is a 10 percent chance of being selected as a potential donor, and a less than 1 percent chance of actually donating.
“Even though the chances of being selected as a donor are low, it is still important for everyone who is donor-eligible to consider being on the registry,” Davis said. “The larger the registry, the greater the chance of finding a match, especially important since statistics show 70 percent of patients don’t have a match in their family and use Be The Match to find their donor.”
A patient’s likelihood of having a donor on Be The Match Registry is estimated to range from 60 percent to 93 percent depending on race and ethnicity. Patients are most likely to match someone of their own race and ethnicity, so donors of diverse racial and ethnic heritage are needed.
Those who are identified as the best donor for a patient through Be The Match would complete a health history screening questionnaire and learn more about the process before moving forward with the actual donation.
“I’m so excited about this opportunity,” Davis said. “I’ve been trying to get hospitals and universities to team up for a drive for years, but this Ashland event is the first actual collaboration. With public participation, we hope to have a very successful few days.”
For more information about the Bone Marrow Drive, please call the Samaritan Hospital Foundation at 419-207-7900. ###