Oakland University to host Organ and Bone Marrow Donor Registration Drive
The Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine will be hosting its 6th Annual Organ & Bone Marrow Donor Registration Drive from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Oct. 2 and Oct. 4 at the Kresge Library, and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Oct. 3 at the OU Recreation Center.
“Organ and bone marrow registration is especially important to promote on college campuses as the organ and bone marrow donor registries seek a diverse set of individuals,” said Stephanie Swanberg, MSI, an assistant professor and medical librarian in the Department of Biomedical Sciences.
“Research has shown that bone marrow matches are more likely between individuals of the same ethnicity and heritage,” she added. “Age is an important factor as well.”
OUWB has hosted the annual organ donor drive since 2012 as part of Michigan Libraries for Life, a statewide initiative to increase organ donation awareness in collegiate special and public libraries throughout the state.
“In the last five years, our drive has registered 207 new organ donors, 132 new bone marrow donors, and spoken with over 1,400 people,” Swanberg said. “It is incredible when you think of the potential impact of these numbers – just with the newly registered organ donors, our drive could potentially save over 1,600 lives.”
The donor registration drive will support Gift of Life Michigan and Be The Match, and is made possible by the joint efforts of the OUWB Student National Medical Association, the OU Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students, OU Cancer Awareness Society, OUWB Diversity & Inclusion, OUWB Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association, and the OUWB Medical Library.
“The more individuals we can add to these two registries, the more lives we can potentially save,” Swanberg said.
The bone marrow registry sign-up requires sample cells via a cheek swab. The sample is used to compare, and ideally match up, specific protein markers with patients who need a bone marrow transplant.
“Each person can donate up to eight organs, in addition to a number of tissues, after they pass and there are thousands of people across the country waiting for a bone marrow match to potentially cure leukemia, lymphoma, anemia, and other diseases,” Swanberg said.
Volunteers are also needed for the event and will have an opportunity to register new organ and/or bone marrow donors, distribute literature, answer questions and walk people through the registration process.
To volunteer, visit the online volunteer sign-up form. A short training session will be held from 11 a.m. to noon on Monday, Sept. 25 in room 478 at O’Dowd Hall for volunteers to learn the registration process. Volunteers who are unable to attend the session will be provided eTraining material.
For more information about the donor registries, visit bethematch.org or giftoflifemichigan.org.