More than 300 students join bone marrow registry

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In conjunction with the festivities of Blue Madness last week, the DePaul athletic department made time to take up a cause chosen by one of their athletes — bone marrow registration.

Over the summer, senior cross country runner Kelly Pickering was struck by the story of a 15 year old girl who was dying from Leukemia. The girl’s final wish was for everyone to join the bone marrow registry. So Pickering approached Dave Corzine, assistant to the athletics director for community outreach about setting up a drive.

With the help the National Marrow Donor Program, “Be the Match,” Corzine and Pickering set up the registration drive in the student center.

The longest part of the registry process was filling out the paperwork and then students had their mouths swabbed for dna so that it could be recorded in the registry in the instance that you may be a possible match for someone with a disease bone marrow can help heal. More than 300 DePaul students participated in the drive.

“You can be called any time up to the age of 61 once you register and then if it happens that they do find that you’re a match they would ask you if you would like to donate and go forward,” said Corzine.

The process of giving bone marrow used to be more invasive and painful, but the technology has evolved. According to the “Be the Match campaign: “The majority of donations do not involve surgery. Today, the patient’s doctor most often requests a peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) donation, which is non-surgical.

The second way of donating is marrow donation, which is a surgical procedure. In each case, donors typically go home the same day they donate.”

The done marrow donor program helps fight 87 diseases including Leukemia and Sickle Cell Anemia.

“We got a great response from our athletic department. A lot of people came to register.”

Corzine thinks there was such a strong response from students because cancer seems to touch everyone.

“Somewhere along the line there is a personal involvement,” said Corzine.

The athletic department tries to take up several causes in the community and was proud of all the student involvement and help that they received on this campaign. “It’s kind of the spirit of DePaul to be involved and do what we can,” said Corzine.

“The response from the DePaul students is fantastic.”