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Fear Not the Needle: It is Only a Simple Swab

Published on November 7, 2013 by Tiffany Coleman

(MERIDIAN)  No need to fear a needle. Saving a life can start with a simple swab. Broadview University is looking for potential donors to join its bone marrow match drive called “Be The Match.” On Wednesday and Thursday, Nov. 13 and 14, the Boise campus is inviting anyone and everyone to join the national registry to possibly save a life. It is as easy as filling out a form and having your cheek swabbed. The goal is to get 50 people to join the registry.

According to BeTheMatch.org, more than 10,000 patients in the United States are diagnosed with life-threatening diseases such as leukemia or lymphoma each year. Their best option for a cure is a bone marrow transplant. Because 70 percent of patients do not have a matching donor in their family, they depend on people like you to help save their life. “Be The Match” is a movement that engages a growing community of people inspired to help patients who need a marrow or stem cell transplant. When you join the Be The Match Registry, you become part of every patient’s search for a donor.

“People used to think that in order to even start the process of becoming a marrow donor, you had to be stuck with a huge needle,” Holly Morss, the veterinary technology program chair at Broadview University, said. “There are all kinds of horror stories out there like that, but that is definitely not the case anymore. All it takes is a simple cheek swab.”

The campus’s effort, which will become the State of Idaho’s only publicly-known location to host a national donor registry drive, started because Morss, who is one of the campus’s coordinators for this event, has a close friend whose 9-year-old daughter, Abby, needs a bone marrow transplant. Morss wanted to become involved when she found out that Idaho is one of the few states that does not have a public donor registry site.

Broadview University’s medical assistant students will be swabbing cheeks and taking potential donor information in the campus commons area on Wednesday, Nov. 13, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and on Thursday, Nov. 14, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. The swab results will then be entered into a national database. If a match is identified, donors will be contacted with further information.

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