Athletic training students to register bone marrow donors

Pitt-Bradford’s athletic training program will hold a bone marrow donor registry drive from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 20 in the Frame-Westerberg Commons. 

Students will perform a simple cheek swab on those interested in becoming potential donors. Those who are swabbed are only contacted if they are a match for a person who needs a bone marrow transplant.

Thousands of people with blood cancers like leukemia, lymphoma and sickle cell anemia are depending on a bone marrow transplant to save their lives. Marrow recipients must be genetically compatible with their donors, so the more potential donors who are registered, the greater the number of people who can be treated.

There is a great need for greater diversity in the current marrow donor registry. Of the 9 million people who have volunteered and been typed, 10 percent are Hispanic, 7 percent are African American and 7 percent are Asian.

Those who wish to be typed as a potential donor should be between the ages of 18 and 44 and in good health; be willing to donate marrow should they be among the one in 500 registrants called on to do so; and have a body mass index of 40 or less.

There is no cost to become a potential donor. The $100-per-volunteer cost of tissue typing is paid by donations. To make a financial contribution to the marrow drive, visit www.bethematchfoundation.org/goto/UPittBrad.

The marrow drive is being held in conjunction with National Athletic Training Month. For more information, contact Brieanne Seguin, clinical coordinator of athletic training, at 814-362-7542 or bseguin@pitt.edu.

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