Be the Match, Save a Life

Be the match video

Be the match video

Video by Christian Payne

Help save a life by joining the national Be the Match Registry of potential marrow donors

by Christine Baksi 

Dickinson, in partnership with the Be the Match Registry and the collegiate Get in the Game campaign, is sponsoring a marrow donor registry drive and fundraiser on Wednesday, March 25, from noon to 4 p.m. in the Holland Union Building's Social Hall. The event is organized by the football team and its coaches. Many prizes will be raffled, including a 50-inch flat-screen television with all proceeds going to Be the Match to offset the cost of adding each new potential donor to the registry. All funds raised will be eligible for a dollar-for-dollar matching grant. 

Individuals ages 18-44 are encouraged to become part of the national Be the Match Registry of potential marrow donors. The registry is searched by doctors to find suitable matches for patients—many of whom are battling cancer—and need a marrow transplant. The registration process involves paperwork and a simple cheek swab and takes about 15 minutes. According to the Be the Match Foundation, more than 14,000 patients in the U.S. are diagnosed with life-threatening diseases such as leukemia, lymphoma and sickle cell anemia, for which a marrow transplant may be their best option or only hope for a cure. Seventy percent of those patients rely on the Be the Match Registry for their matching donor. 

Since 2013, more than 600 individuals have been added to the national registry at Dickinson’s Be the Match drives. Sixteen individuals were identified as potential matches, and two—Reed Salmons ’14 and Claire Paulsen ’17—went on to donate marrow or stem cells to individuals battling life-threatening illnesses. The events also have raised more than $12,000 for Be the Match—one of the largest amounts raised by the 45-member network of Get in the Game colleges and universities. As further evidence of Dickinson’s commitment to the marrow donor registry mission, students established a Be the Match on Campus chapter to foster yearlong support and awareness. 

“Dickinson’s dedication to the Be the Match Registry has clearly marked them as one of the highest performing schools within the Get in the Game program,” said Aimee Haskew, community engagement representative for Be the Match. “Their hard work has given hope, not only to the thousands of patients searching for their match, but for the two individuals to date who found their matching donor and received the most precious gift of a second chance at life.”

Individuals looking for ways to help are encouraged to join the registry on March 25 and donate financially to help Dickinson meet its fundraising goal. For more information or to make a donation, visit Dickinson’s Be the Match team page.

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Published March 24, 2015