Students can give bone marrow

By Cory Hurst | @kykernel

[email protected]

Various locations on campus will hold a bone marrow drive, hosted by UK’s pre-med fraternity Phi Delta Epsilon on Thursday.

To participate, students simply need to consent to having a swab of spit taken from their mouths and sign on the dotted line.

Sororities and fraternities will be competing during this drive to see who can sign up the most new prospective donors.

“Truly there is no greater deed than to give a piece of yourself to save another,” said John Wright, organizer and kinesiology junior.

Lesley Williams and Chris Terry are second year pharmacy students helping to organize the drive.

Terry stresses “You can really see the impact. You’re actually saving a life … really. This is the easiest way to make a difference.”

So as his colleague Williams notes, “it’s just an incredible cause.”

Bone marrow is scarce and there are many deserving people who need a donor. Bone marrow deficiencies are often the result of prolonged leukemia treatments.

As chemotherapy destroys the cancerous cells, it also destroys healthy bone marrow cells.

By the time the cancer has been eradicated or reduced to a more manageable level, the marrow has taken a severe beating.

Without healthy marrow, the body cannot produce stem cells, and without stem cells, the body cannot produce blood and the rest goes without saying. To be a match, the recipient and the donor must match on many levels that depend on genes and ethnic background as well.

Every bit of information is needed to help actual patients who are in dire need.

“This is proven to be a life saving endeavor; this is not for research,” said Carson Hardy, a biology junior and president of Phi Delta Epsilon.

According to Hardy this is why it is important to have as many people in the registry as possible. Given the wide variance in genes between people, it is unlikely that most will be called upon to donate. If people who register agree to donate, then they may expect to be in and out of the hospital on the same day.

Most patients will be completely recovered within two weeks. These are all the reasons why Phi Delta Epsilon is trying to help the registry sign up as many new donors as possible.

There aren’t very many restrictions on bone marrow. John Wright, organizer and kinesiology junior, said those who are between the ages of 18 and 44 make the best and most likely donors.

Drives will be held in the Student Center from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at BBSRB Atrium from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Johnson Center from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Whittaker Bank Ballpark from 7 p.m. to the end of the Legends game.