Bone Marrow Drive Successful In Saving Lives

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This year over 100 students have been identified as possible bone marrow donors, and that number may rise after over 750 Ohio University faculty, staff and students "got swabbed" on Tuesday.

Donors were recruited at Baker Center and at the Convocation center during the Ohio University Men’s Basketball game versus the Bowling Green Falcons.

Hillel at Ohio University, LINKS and Ohio Athletics hoped to bring in about 2,000 donors.

A simple cheek swab allows donors to be entered into a national bone marrow database accessed by doctors whose patients suffer from forms of cancer and MDS.

Hillel Executive Director Rabbi Danielle Leshaw says that one student was found to be a match for a two-year-old child and eventually donated bone marrow to help save the child’s life.

Not everyone swabbed will be a match, but Leshaw says that the chance to save a life is a message that needs to be spread.

“We want to know when a student is potentially a match, we want to support them in the process- we want to make sure that they get recognized,” said Leshaw. “We first want to celebrate with them. It is incredibly exciting when you’re found to be a match and can save somebody’s life.”

The process of donating bone marrow is easy, Leshaw points out.

"First donors must go to Hudson Health Center [Campus Care] to get blood drawn to be tested to see if there is a perfect match.”

If it is a perfect match, the donor is sent to a regional hospital for marrow to be extracted in a safe, nearly painless procedure.

Leshaw says the donating their marrow is absolutely cost-free for students.

For many students the decision to donate is easy.

“I would donate, for sure,” says OU student Blair Spitler.

Student-athlete Mattie Liston agrees, “I know if it was me or somebody that I knew I would want people to come out for me.”