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The Source

Students Organize Campus Blood and Marrow Drive

June 14, 2018

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On Monday, June 25, graduate students Lily Perkins, Aaron Adamski, Victor Okonkwo and Mike Revell, in partnership with Be the Match and Bloodworks Northwest, will be hosting a lifesaving blood and marrow drive outside of York Commons at the Graduate School. Lily Perkins, a current student in the counseling psychology department and lead organizer of the event, is passionate about bringing awareness to this cause for very personal reasons.

“I have been personally battling bone marrow diseases, specifically aplastic anemia and paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH), for the last 4 years. The only cure is a bone marrow transplant, but that is the last case scenario so we are not rushing to it,” Perkins explains.

While Perkins is currently able to use regular blood transfusions to keep her body functioning and to continue living her life, she is keenly aware of the value of the donor registry and of those who volunteer to be the match.

“Every 3 minutes someone is diagnosed with blood cancer and 70% of them do not have a family match,” she shares. “They solely depend on the bone marrow registry.”

Perkins is one of that 70% who does not have a family match.

According to the National Marrow Donor Program, at any given time about 7,500 Americans are actively searching the national registry for an unrelated donor. As of today, only 2% of the national population is on the registry and at least 3,000 people die each year because they cannot find a matching donor.

Perkins emphasizes this fact as well: “The bone marrow registry is full of people waiting for matches to survive. The registry is purely made from volunteers and it’s up to us to get the word out to as many people as possible to save children, parents, and our friends who waiting for donors!”

Ready to donate?

Join the team from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Monday, June 25, to take part in this lifesaving blood and marrow drive. Additional details about the drive and other fun activities taking place that day (sock drive! ice cream party! pizza! cornhole!) are available on the event’s facebook page. There is even an option to form a team, earn points, and score prizes!

For a donation appointment call 1-800-398-7888, sign up online at bloodworksnw.org (sponsor code 599A), or stop by as a walk-in donor. Photo ID required to donate.

More information

More information about joining the bone marrow registry or what marrow donation entails can be found at https://bethematch.org/.

More information about blood donation can be found at https://www.bloodworksnw.org/.