Be the Match is an organization that compiles a national registry for people interested in becoming a bone marrow donor, and only around one in 500 people on the registry ever end up being matched with a patient and go on to donate. But for the second time in the last eight years, a Dickinsonian was a match—and went on to become a donor.
“In February 2022, I received a call from Be the Match, and they told me that I was a match for a 5-year-old boy with severe aplastic anemia and asked if I would be willing to donate my bone marrow,” says Mindy Corney '20 (international business & management), who signed up for the registry, and had a quick saliva swab, during a Dickinson football event back in 2017. “I obviously said yes.”
Extra blood tests were run to ensure that Corney was the best possible match, as there were others, and a month later the organization was back in touch with the results: She was in fact the best candidate. Two months later, she underwent bone marrow surgery at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C., and the patient would receive the transplant the next day.
“The process was very easy,” says Corney, a former women's lacrosse player, noting that the organization was continually supportive and always there to answer any questions. “[But] in all honesty, I most likely would have never signed up for this great cause if it was not for Dickinson and the athletic programs pushing us to be a part of something bigger than ourselves.”
Be the Match organizes registration events across the country, and Dickinson hosts one each year as a community service initiative by the football program.
“Five years ago I could have never imagined being in a position where I could save a 5-year-old’s life,” says Corney, who is awaiting word on the boy’s condition. “But I am so happy I did and have given him a second chance to live the life he is destined to live."
Published May 31, 2022