Bloomsburg to Host ‘Be The Match’ Drive

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On Wednesday, March 2 and Thursday, March 3, Bloomsburg University will be hosting its first Be The Match drive on campus. The drive will take place in the Kehr Union Ballroom on March 2 and March 3 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Be The Match is a registry that matches cancer patients in need of bone marrow transplant donors to potential donor matches. Here on campus, students and faculty have the opportunity to be tested to see if they may be a match. During the drive, Bloomsburg’s branch of Love Your Melon will be selling exclusive Love Your Melon/Be The Match beanies for $30. The proceeds from the beanies will go to pediatric cancer research.

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“Bloomsburg students should really consider getting swabbed because cancer has more than likely touched each and every one of our lives in one way or another. By taking a moment to get swabbed, you could potentially save a life,” said volunteer Kelsey Price.

How will I know if I’m a match?

In order to be tested, volunteers at the drive will swab your cheek, which will add your tissue type to the registry. After being swabbed, you will be included in the registry until the age of 61 unless you formally request to be removed.

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What are the guidelines?

  1. Be between the ages of 18 and 44
  2. Be willing to donate to any patient in need
  3. Meet the health guidelines

How does a bone marrow donation work? Does it hurt?

There are two ways to donate: peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) and marrow donation. Here are some facts from Be The Match on the two options.

PBSC:

  • A drug is given to donors for 5 days that increases the number of cells in their bloodstream used for transplant. Cells are gathered using a non-surgical, outpatient procedure.
  • Donors may experience head or muscle aches that disappear shortly after donation.
  • Donors are typically back to their normal routine in 1 to 2 days.

Marrow:

  • This is a surgical, usually outpatient procedure using anesthesia.
  • Afterwards, donors may feel soreness in the lower back.
  • Donors are typically back to their normal routine in 2 to 7 days.

Are there any conditions that would prevent me from being a potential donor?

  • HIV or risk for HIV
  • Hepatitis or risk for hepatitis
  • Most forms of heart disease or cancer
  • Chronic lung disease
  • Diabetes requiring insulin or diabetes-related health issues
  • Diseases that affect blood clotting or bleeding
  • Recent back surgery or severe/ongoing back problems
  • Autoimmune/neurological disorders such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis or multiple sclerosis
  • Being an organ or marrow transplant recipient
  • Significant obesity
  • Current sleep apnea

If for one of the reasons listed above you are unable to be tested or you are not able to commit to becoming a potential donor, please remember there are other opportunities to help out a great cause. To find out more information please visit: bethematch.org

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