Two Stony Brook University alumni didn’t realize how much of a difference they’d eventually make when they got a simple cheek swab at on-campus bone marrow registry events during student activities fairs.
Evan Gauer ’22, MBA ’23 and Christina Muggeo ’14 both matched with patients seeking bone marrow transplants after participating in swabbing events sponsored by Be the Match.
Every three to four minutes, someone is diagnosed with blood cancer in the United States, according to Be The Match, a nonprofit operated by the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) dedicated to helping patients get the life-saving transplants they need. Statistics show that only 30 percent of people with blood cancers — such as leukemia, lymphoma or myeloma — are able to find a compatible donor within their family. This means the majority of patients who need a bone marrow or stem cell transplant must find a donor who is not related to them.
Gauer was recruiting for the rugby club at the Student Activities Center plaza when he was swabbed and got a call a year later that he was a match. Muggeo was swabbed in 2012 and was called six years later — while working at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center as a project manager — by DKMS, an international nonprofit organization that also helps find bone marrow donors and works with Be The Match.
Read their amazing story on SB Matters.