WIU Be the Match Chapter Registers Over 200; Fund Drive Underway
December 5, 2013
MACOMB, IL -- On the Western Illinois University campus Nov. 7 and 8, more than 200 individuals took the "Be the Match" call to register as bone marrow donors.
The student organization, which was established in mid-October by Grant Severs, a junior biology (medical sciences/pre-dentistry) major, and Ashley Whiteside, a junior agriculture science major, both of Macomb, worked hard to promote its first donor registry drive. They hoped for at least 50 to 100 individuals to register to be a part of the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP).
"We are absolutely thrilled with the turnout of 203 wonderful, caring individuals at last month's drive," noted Severs. "We'd like to thank everyone who registered to be a donor, as well as those who donated to Be the Match. Now we are hard at work to raise additional funds to cover the swabs completed during our two-day drive."
Whiteside added that each swab/registry costs approximately $100 per person.
"The organization relies on the generosity of individuals, corporations and other organization to support the work that save lives," she said.
Individuals can text MATCH WIU to 50555 for a $10 donation for WIU's Be The Match on Campus to help fund the bone marrow drive.* Contributions may also be made at www.bethematchoncampus.org/wiu. The group is planning a larger scale fundraiser to cover future donor registry drives as well.
"Because of all of our great people on this campus, more patients will be able to receive a life-saving transplant," Whiteside said.
The Be The Match Registry/Be the Match on Campus is operated by the NMDP, a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating an opportunity for all patients to receive the marrow transplant they need, when they need it. It is the largest and most diverse donor registry in the world. A patient's likelihood of finding a matching donor on the Be The Match Registry is estimated to range from 66-93 percent.
"Grant, Ashley and everyone involved in the WIU chapter understand our mission and are so dedicated to the work they are doing with Be The Match," said Amy Brousseau, account executive, of the Be The Match South Central - Central/Southern Illinois office. "I couldn't be more proud and delighted to work with them. Grant and the team truly educated themselves about our mission, what we do for patients and the importance of what this organization does."
According to Brousseau, in order to be a Be the Match on Campus chapter, during an academic year the chapter is tasked with a minimum goal of recruiting 200 new donors, planning and executing four education/awareness events per year and raising $5,000.
"The WIU chpater met their minimum recruitment goal in two days, which is fantastic," she added. "I am looking forward to seeing what else they can accomplish. Transplants can and do save lives so any involvement, from registering as a donor to donating financially, is so valuable."
While the WIU drive targeted those donors who were between the ages 18-44, ages 45+ can still register for a $100 fee. According to bethematch.org, this is based on medical research that shows younger donors are best for patients and provide the greatest chance for transplant success.
For more information on Western's chapter of Be the Match, contact Severs at GS-Severs@wiu.edu or Whiteside at A-Whiteside@wiu.edu. For more information on Be the Match, visit bethematch.org.
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