On March 25 both sides of the Stony Brook University campus are joining forces in the fight against blood cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma. The Student Health Advisory Committee and School of Nursing, along with the Stony Brook Nurses’ Association, are encouraging SBU students to become potential donors at the bone marrow registry drive.
College-aged donors are always sought after because studies have shown they offer the best outcome for a patient’s long-term survival. Since there are additional factors that determine a successful donation, like a close ethnic relationship, all are welcome to learn more about the eligibility requirements at the drive.
Becoming a potential donor starts with a simple swab of a cheek. Next, Stony Brook’s partner, Delete Blood Cancers, checks the National Blood Marrow Registry for a patient who is a good match to the potential donor.
What determines a good match? It starts with a patient’s human leukocyte antigen (HLA) tissue type. HLA are proteins, or markers, found on the surface of most cells. According to the American Cancer Society, how well the donor’s and recipient’s HLA tissue types match plays a large part in whether the transplant will work. A match is better when all six of the known major HLA antigens are the same — a 6 out of 6 match.
Since the swab is just the first step, it is important for those signing up to consider the long-term commitment. If a match is found there are additional steps involved, including a physical, a blood test and ultimately the procedure for donation. But, for the 70 percent of all patients who must find an unrelated donor, it’s an opportunity to save someone’s life.
Stop by any of the three locations, and take the first step to become a donor:
Bone Marrow Registry Drive: Wednesday, March 25
Student Activities Center Ballroom, 9 am to 5 pm
Campus Recreation Center Lobby, 5 pm to 9 pm
Health Science Center, Level 2, 11 am to 2 pm
FAQs from Delete Blood Cancers