NHS Peer Leadership Hosts Bone Marrow Donor Registry Drive

Throughout the day on Thursday, May 29, people stopped by Newtown High School to participate in the school’s Peer Leadership-hosted Bone Marrow Donor Registry Drive.

The event is an annual one for the group, and Peer Leadership co-advisor Vivian Sheen said people should “keep an eye out” for the group’s next drive.

The drive ran from 8 am until 2 pm and was open to the public. Ms Sheen said about 20 people registered during the drive.

The drive was offered through the Be The Match Donor Registry. 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.

Participants at the event filled out a registry form and had their cheeks swabbed.

Cristina Balboni, a representative from Be The Match, was at the high school for the registration drive.

By noon, Ms Balboni said nine people had stopped by the school to participate.

“A simple cheek swab can put you in the registry to potentially save a life,” Ms Balboni said.

NHS Peer Leadership students also helped oversee the Be The Match booth set up in the school’s lobby for the event alongside Ms Balboni.

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