2017 & 2018 tabled with Be The Match

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Donating bone marrow has never sounded like the most pleasant thing to do.  If you weren’t already thinking “big needles”, you are now, and that’s enough to make anyone uneasy. So when you see a group of students wielding clipboards and swabbing packets, and they ask you if you have “5 minutes to join the registry & save a life,” you might just offer an apologetic no and continue on your way to class.

And that’s ok. There shouldn’t be a burden of guilt there if you’re well informed and truly have no desire to donate.

But having spent four hours on campus advocating for Be The Match bone marrow registry alongside my teammates, I have come to see that most of us are not well informed. 50% of kids under the age of 10 with aggressive bone and blood cancer are still waiting for a match to save their lives. We have progressed so far in medicine that we can actually cure a child’s cancer with another person. That is INCREDIBLE. What a gift to give. But who is that other person? And how will we find them?  It’s up to us to choose to tell them we’re here, and we’re ready to help if we can. What if that was the first thing we thought of when we heard someone talking about the registry? Maybe 50% of kids wouldn’t be waiting, maybe a match would be guaranteed.

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We have a teammate who was a cure for a child he does not know and has never met. When he talks about the registry and donating, he does not talk about the needles. He talks about the boy who has many many more years to live because of his willingness to help.

Thank you Be The Match for letting us be apart of your mission here at UT.  We received 300 swabs that will now be in the registry for kids in need.

Written by 2017 Rider Katie Goodfellow