Be the match who saves a life

Start your day the sunny side up way: Eggs Up Grill
November 11, 2016
Column – 11/11/16
November 11, 2016

Be the match who saves a life

“What can you do with five minutes? With five minutes you could save a life.”

This is the simple motto of the University Marketing Association for its upcoming drive for Be the Match, a bone marrow donor registration organization.

According to UMA leadership, Be the Match will be taking DNA samples on Nov. 16 at noon on the West Drive side of the Alumni Building to add students to the bone marrow donor registry.

Coffee and cookies will be provided for students who participate, and the process will take only five minutes.

Jeremy Kramer, executive vice president of the UMA, said Be the Match is a nonprofit organization that connects possible bone marrow donors with patients in need.

Kramer said placing yourself in the registry is not a commitment to give, but it allows doctors to find possible donors for their patients before contacting them about giving.

Kramer said chances of being selected are small, but offering DNA is a way of making yourself available to save a life without giving much time or any money.

“If we’re honest, time and money is what college students have the least of,” Kramer said.

“Bone marrow transplants are something that while rare, are extremely important.”

Lizzy Stima, director of community involvement for the UMA, handled logistical issues of bringing Be the Match to campus and encourages students to participate in the event. 

Stima said participating can be helpful for those who have blood cancer.

“Many times, a blood cancer patient’s last effort is a bone marrow transplant,” Stima said.

“I know my aunt personally wasn’t able to find a donor, and she ended up passing away shortly after her diagnosis.”

Stima said those who participate give families suffering from cancer hope for their loved one in need.

Stima said 80 percent of marrow donations are done in a way similar to giving blood, and giving DNA for the registry is easier because it requires no needles.

Stima said the swab will take only about 45 seconds and simply involves four cotton ball swipes of each corner of the mouth.

The process is simple and will be demonstrated for those who participate.

The UMA has a goal of 500 students to participate or roughly 20 percent of the student body. Stima said she believes it is a feasible goal.

“We are so willing to give here,” Stima said.

“It’s been such a good testimony to the organization to see how willing we are to help them in any way possible.”

Stima said Be the Match is a chance to show the Greenville community how much the University cares about members of the community, especially those members who are hurting.

Kramer said students can give throughout the day without sacrificing much time or being late to class.

“It’s something you can do in between classes,” Kramer said.

“And you might be the missing puzzle piece to something much bigger.”

Kramer said Robert Hucks, faculty adviser to the UMA, thought of bringing Be the Match to campus around nine months ago.

Hucks had seen the success of the event on other college campuses and wished to bring it to Bob Jones University.

“He thought it would be a fantastic thing that the UMA could do in its early years of existence,” Kramer said.

The UMA was founded in March 2015 and is managing all staffing, planning and organization for the event.