LSU students arranged for the National Marrow Donor Program’s “Be the Match” registry to visit campus Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Free Speech Plaza to register people in their database.
The database, which has a registry of millions, still doesn’t have matched bone marrow donors or umbilical cord blood for all patients, especially those from racially and ethnically diverse communities, according to an LSU news release.
“My goal for this drive is to provide hope for patients in need of the transplant and show that people do care,” said Robert Bostick, a human resource education major from Valrico, Fla., who organized the registry event.
Bone marrow transplant is a life-saving treatment for people with leukemia, lymphoma and many other diseases. First, patients undergo chemotherapy and sometimes radiation to destroy their diseased marrow. Then a donor’s healthy blood-forming cells are placed directly into the patient’s bloodstream, where they can begin to function and multiply.
The process should take less than five minutes, depending on the number of people participating. Each year more than 10,000 people need bone marrow transplants and do not have a match in their family. Most bone marrow transplants are now very similar to donating blood and no longer require actually going into bone.
For a patient’s body to accept these healthy cells, a donor needs to be a close match. Seventy percent of patients do not have a donor in their family and depend on the “Be The Match” registry to find an unrelated bone marrow donor or umbilical cord blood.
For more information on “Be the Match,” visit http://www.marrow.com.