Undergraduates at Oregon State University held a donor drive on their campus in Corvallis last month:
More than 120 students joined the National Bone Marrow Registry with the easy, quick, painless, no-cost act of sitting down at a table on the quad and getting their cheeks swabbed.
That simple act may have amazing reverberations — any time in the next 20 years that someone gets sick with blood cancer, an OSU student will be checked to see if their blood markers match. If and when these students’ swabs match up, they can give the gift of life to someone in desperate need.
If you watch the video above, you’ll notice that OSU students are challenging other campuses across the nation to do better, to top OSU in its donor count. Has your school organized a bone marrow donor drive yet? If not, check out the Be The Match on Campus website, which has all the links and resources you need to set up a donor drive on campus. You can do it — and it works! Check out these amazing stats. Through the new Be The Match on Campus program, college students have:
- raised $53,063 to support the National Bone Marrow Registry
- added 4,111 new people to the registry as potential donors
- generated 86 actual bone marrow donations already!
Add your energy to this wave of generosity. Give of yourself. Help others learn about the gift of a bone marrow match for people suffering from blood cancers. Grab a friend, head online, and get a Be The Match on Campus chapter started at your college or university today.
It’s the day after Christmas. If you celebrate the December holiday with others, you know the joy of giving something to someone else is often bigger than the joy of receiving a present. It feels so good to know that someone you care about is smiling, enjoying themselves and enjoying the world a little bit better.
Steven Pinker has recently argued that our world becomes a better place when we expand our “circle of care” to people outside our immediate friends, family and neighbors. Now that the Christmas season has passed, could you feel just as good knowing that you’ve helped a person you’ve never met?
I think the answer is yes, and there are many ways to find that joy. You don’t have to be rich like Bill Gates. If you’re a healthy person, you can give the gift of yourself. There are many people out there who need what your body makes:
- Give blood. Every few weeks, your body makes enough extra blood to spare a pint for someone in a health crisis. Saving a life can be as easy as a few minutes reclining on a cot. To give blood, call the American Red Cross today.
- Give a kidney. You have two and you only need one. There are many people out there who don’t have a single working kidney, who only need one. 2-1 = 1. 0+1 = 1. That’s two lives for one. To find out how to give a kidney, visit this National Kidney Foundation webpage.
- Donate marrow. Many thousands of people are suffering from deadly cancers of the blood – lympoma, leukemia, myeloma. They’re hoping for a cure that comes with the donation of bone marrow stem cells from another person sharing their genetic type. Get tested today to see if you’re the match — testing is free, painless as a cheekswab and confidential. Visit bethematch.org and sign up today.
Christmas is behind us but the New Year approaches. Will you make a New Year’s resolution to give of yourself? Why wait for the New Year? Click one of the links above to get started.
Check out my Caring Bridge blog, which starts all the way back in 2012 when I was diagnosed with AL amyloidosis and underwent autologous stem cell transplant at Boston Medical Center. This is a much more personal account than what you’ll find here, full of my musings as an ER doctor turned patient.
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