Ross Medical Education Center of Lansing, Michigan recently welcomed Mackenzie VanDerWarf of Michigan Blood for an informative Be The Match presentation. On an average of two to three times per year, Michigan Blood sends a representative to the Ross Lansing campus to remind the staff, faculty, and new students of the dire need here in the United States – and worldwide – for bone marrow donors.
Mackenzie’s presentation included a moving video – a visual reminder of how one person can open their heart and save a life through joining Be The Match. Many people ask, “What’s donation like?” That question is answered on the organization’s website: “Most give through a Peripheral Blood Stem Cell (PBSC) donation. A machine draws blood from one arm, extracts the cells it needs, and returns the remaining blood through your other arm. Others give through a marrow donation. Liquid marrow is withdrawn from the back of your pelvic bone with a needle. In this case, you’ll receive anesthesia and feel no pain during the procedure. The patient’s doctor decides which method is best for their patient.”
Others wonder, “Are there any risks?” This, too, is addressed on their website: “Your body replaces the marrow that you give. And while no medical procedure is completely risk-free, every precaution is taken to ensure the safety and well-being of the donor.” And most ask, “Does it hurt?” According to Be The Match’s website, the answer is “Probably less than you think. While TV shows and movies have wildly exaggerated bone marrow donation as something scary, the reality is much less dramatic. Donors are given anesthesia so they feel no pain during collection. Discomfort during recovery varies from person to person. Side effects may include back pain, fatigue, headache or bruising for a few days or weeks.”
Mackenzie spent most of her day at the Lansing Campus, where she addressed morning, afternoon, and evening students. The Ross students were eager to share their compassion and concern for others by joining Be The Match. At the end of the day, many of the Lansing students had registered to become possible bone marrow donors. At any time, any one of them could be THE match that will ultimately save another’s life. Morning Medical Assisting program student, Isra Everling, shared: “I participated because I have two children, and if they were sick, I would want them to have a donor.” Shannon Jones added: “After watching the touching story of Clara and her donor, I felt like it was important to volunteer with Be The Match… I could save a life!
The Be The Match Facebook page notes: “May 28th is World Blood Cancer Day. Every 35 seconds someone somewhere in the world is diagnosed with blood cancer.” To learn how you can join Be The Match and possibly be the quiet hero who does the extraordinary – save the life of a fellow human being, visit their website today at bethematch.org. Most people in the healthcare field – from doctors to teachers to medical assistants – are driven by an exceptional sense of compassion to help others. Be The Match provides them an opportunity go above and beyond their daily outstanding efforts to save lives.