Newtown High School’s Peer Leadership group sponsored a Bone Marrow Registry program on Thursday, May 23.
Throughout the day Jennifer St Peter, account executive with the Rhode Island Blood Center, was available to assist in registering and collecting cheek cell samples from potential donors, ages 18 to 60, in the auditorium of the high school.
By just after 11 am, Ms St Peter said four people had already registered, and she was expected much more to register during the high school’s lunch waves.
NHS Peer Leadership President Nick Sajovic said having his club offer a bone marrow drive through the Be The Match Donor Registry allowed for club members to discuss the importance of applying through the registry.
“It gets the word out,” said Nick while overseeing a booth in the NHS main lobby for people to sign up.
By registering with the bone marrow Be The Match Donor Registry, individuals agree to remain on the list as a possible donor until age 61, unless they become unwilling or unable to donate.
Be The Match is the largest registry in the world providing a means for thousands of patients with life-threatening diseases or leukemia to find a match. According to BeTheMatch.org, 70 percent of patients in need of a bone marrow transplant do not have a matching family donor. Ten thousand patients every year rely on a cure through the donation of bone marrow for a transplant from someone outside of the family, and only five out of ten patients receive the transplant they need.
Registrants filled out detailed health information and reviewed the program prior to providing the cheek swab samples for entry into the registry.
For more information or to register as a donor, visit www.BeTheMatch.org or call 800-MARROW2.