by: Sophia Orejola
Be the Match held a bone marrow and blood drive on November 5, 2018. Information regarding this event was available in room 201A of the Midtown campus Student Center, from 1:30-4:00 pm. There, students and faculty could register to be a bone marrow donor or take leaflets with additional information about the organization.
Be the Match is a nonprofit organization operated by the National Marrow Donor Program. As third-party donors, they serve as bone marrow and blood stem cell registry, aiming to help cure 72 blood cancers and diseases by donating for the treatment of patients with blood cancers. While the most common diseases they provide aid for include leukemias that damage the patient’s bone marrow and lymphomas that affect the lymph nodes, they also provide donations for anemias such as sickle cell, which negatively impacts the shape of one’s blood cells. The organization’s representative for Connecticut, Jon DeCasanova, was present at the event to provide information and assist with registration to become a donor.
“Obviously, we live in a world that unfortunately does have cancers and blood diseases, and we’re trying to fight that back. So until we can maybe find a cure one day, this is the option that we have to actually cure those blood cancers and blood diseases that can receive blood stem cells to take over and create a new immune system for that patient. Essentially, we can give hope and a second chance at life, in a sense, to these patients,” said DeCasanova.
For those who could not attend the bone marrow drive but still wish to donate to Be the Match, registration is open at join.bethematch.org/WCSU.