Students swab to become potential donors

Chloe Chapel

Every four minutes, someone is diagnosed with some form of blood cancer, according to the Be The Match organization. 

For those diagnosed, the only cure can oftentimes be bone marrow or cord blood transplant. But 70% of patients who need a transplant don’t have a fully matched donor in their family, according to Be The Match. 

Organizations such as Be The Match help find potential donors for patients in this situation. 

Potential donors register by sending in a cheek-swab sample. 

Then, they check to see if the swabs match anyone who needs a bone marrow or cord blood transplant. If matched with someone, Be The Match will reach out to see if they’re still willing to donate. 

Last week, HOSA-Future Health Professionals partnered with Be The Match to find potential donors on campus. 

Sydney Toms, a senior nursing major, said college campuses are the perfect place to find potential donors because students fit in the age range of donors. 

“In order to be a donor, you must be between 18 and 40 years old,” Toms said. “Therefore, a college campus is the perfect place to find a high volume of potential young donors who can remain on the registry for many years to come.”

Students in the College of Health Studies volunteered to help, and they were able to get dozens of students registered. 

Lauren Sandino, a sophomore health studies major, said she volunteered to help spread awareness about Be The Match. 

“I support the goal that Be The Match is working towards— to get more people on the registry so people with different blood diseases will find a match to possibly save their life,” Sandino said. “I want to be able to reach as many people as possible because you never know if you’ll be the one that the patients’ families have been hoping and praying for.”

If students were unable to register at the event, they can register on the Be The Match website and have a cheek swab mailed to them. 

HOSA will host more events in the future for students to become donors. 

Toms said more registry drives are planned for the future, and HOSA will be partnering with other RSOs to reach more students. 

“We are partnering with the College of Pharmacy for a community health fair on March 26 so be on the lookout for more information regarding this event,” Toms said.