Be The Match is a nonprofit organization comprised of volunteers, researchers and health care professionals dedicated to finding a cure to blood cancers. According to Be The Match, every three minutes, one person is diagnosed with a blood cancer. Every 10 minutes, someone dies from a blood cancer.
Seventy percent of patients are unable to find a matching donor in their family and rely on bone marrow registries to find an unrelated donor. A bone marrow transplant can benefit a person battling diseases such as leukemia, lymphoma and sickle cell anemia.
Potential donors will perform a cheek swab and will be added to the Bone Marrow Registry of potential donors.
Donors between the ages of 18 and 44 are in high demand because younger donors produce more and higher-quality cells. However, anyone between the ages of 18 and 60 can join the Be The Match Registry. More information on donor guidelines can also be found on the website.
WSU Development Director Robbie Christiano and Development Assistant Tanya Berzinski collaborated over the summer to bring Be The Match to the WSU campus. The event holds special significance for Christiano, who served as a bone marrow donor in 2012, and for WSU Scholarship Coordinator Jen Jonsgaard, who served as a donor just this summer. Read more about Jonsgaard’s story on the WSU news blog.
For more information on Be The Match and bone marrow drives and donation, visit Be The Match’s website.
For more information on the drive being held at WSU, contact Tanya Berzinski at TBerzinski@winona.edu.