Olivet’s biology club, Biophilic, partnered with “Be the Match” and hosted a bone marrow registration drive in the Ludwig Dining Hall on Wednesday, April 12. Students at the university were given the opportunity on Wednesday and Thursday from the morning to the early afternoon to fill out paperwork and receive a cheek swab to find out if they could potentially be donors to someone with an illness like blood cancer.
“Be The Match,” a national marrow donor program, estimates that someone is diagnosed with a blood cancer every three minutes. It is also estimated that for each person that decides to be a donor, a life could potentially be saved.
“Signing up to join the registry is not a commitment nor a guarantee to donate. However, it makes a second chance a possibility to someone who may be in need,” Kaleb Smith, a junior at Olivet who was in attendance at the event, said.
“Be the Match” recommends that those who sign up to become potential donors be between the ages of 18 and 44. The website says that after a person is matched with someone in need of a donation, they may be asked to donate one of two things: peripheral blood stem cells or bone marrow.
“Bone marrow is incredibly hard to find a donor for because of the high degree of matching required; immediate family is not even likely to be a match,” Smith said. “If you’re matched to a patient in need, the process is simple and not at all life-changing. You can save a life with no permanent personal loss.”
Olivet hosted this event a week after hosting the blood drive on campus which gave both students and faculty multiple opportunities to potentially give back more to the communities around them. A number of students attended both the blood drive and the bone marrow registration signups and now hold the possibility to make a potentially life-saving impact in the lives of others.
— Hannah Craig, Staff Writer, & Abbie Mills, Photographer