Saturday, March 25, 2006

Opportunity to Join the Bone Marrow Donor Registry

On Monday and Tuesday, Vanderbilt is holding a marrow donor registration drive which is open to the public. The announcement is below:

VANDERBILT STUDENTS MEETING FOR THE AWARENESS OF CANCER PRESENTS A BONE MARROW DONOR REGISTRATION DRIVE

Monday, March 27th. 12noon -8pm
Tuesday, March 28th 9am-3pm
Location -Vanderbilt Student Life Center - 25th Ave South & Garland Ave. http://www.vanderbilt.edu/studentlifecenter/directions.html

Marrow Donor REGISTRATION Drive (requires a small blood sample)
(This event will include an optional blood drive for those who wish to donate a unit of blood)

FREE PIZZA and T-shirts, and hourly prize drawings include:
A night for 2 at the Loews Hotel + dinner
dinner for 2 at Sunset Grill
gift certificates to Carrabbas, Starbucks, and more!

For questions, email: marrowthon@gmail.com or call Helene Di Iorio 421-5922 or on campus 1-5922

To PREREGISTER (will reduce wait time at the drive) and for more information, go to: http://sitemason.vanderbilt.edu/site/fukdeE

Registration on the National Bone Marrow Donor List only requires a very small blood sample and you will be kept on the list until age 61. The chances of finding a bone marrow match for a transplant is 1 in 20,000 so the more people who are registered, the more lives that can be saved. There are thousands of people across the country in desperate need of a marrow transplant to save their life. ALSO, those who normally can't donate blood due to weight limitations, anemia, certain medications, etc. can still join the marrow donor list. Many of the restrictions for blood donation do not apply to bone marrow registration.

Sponsored by:
Vanderbilt Students Meeting for the Awareness of Cancer
Vanderbilt Intercultural Affairs & Diversity Education
Vanderbilt SGA Multicultural Committee
Vanderbilt Dining Services
Brentwood Rotary Club
Sigma Chi
Signing up for the registry typically costs $70 - the fee has been waived thanks to the sponsors above. Participants are asked to consider donating a pint of blood while they're there.

Marrow Donation Resources:
National Marrow Donor Program
Donor Information - National Marrow Donor Program
Donor FAQs - National Marrow Donor Program
Factors to Consider Before Joining - National Marrow Donor Program
Diseases that may be treated by a bone marrow or cord blood transplant - National Marrow Donor Program
Bone Marrow Transplantation - MedlinePlus
BMT and Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Transplantation - National Cancer Institute
How to be a bone marrow or blood stem cell donor - MayoClinic.com
Blood and Marrow Stem Cell Transplantation - The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

Full disclosure: I have not yet personally committed to joining the registry. Before doing so, I want to be absolutely sure that if I matched to someone needing a transplant, I would be willing and able to donate (you make the decision as a match is found), regardless of the needed method of donation. There are two ways donation can be done; one involves drugs and blood removal via the arm (similar to donating blood), while the other requires anesthesia and insertion of a hollow needle into the pelvic bone. I'm not yet willing to commit to going through the second, surgical procedure. Because suitable matches can be very difficult to find, I would feel obligated to donate if I were ever to match to someone. It doesn't seem fair to the patient otherwise. I don't want to discourage anyone from joining the registry. If you plan to do so, though, please talk it over with your family, consider the risks, and don't do it just because I posted about it.

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MeSH Tags: Bone Marrow; Bone Marrow Cells; Bone Marrow Transplantation; Tissue Donors

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