Hillel to seek bone marrow, stem cell donors

The University of Arizona Hillel Foundation will host a registration drive for potential bone marrow or stem cell donors on Wednesday, April 17, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., on the UA Mall.

The drive is being held on behalf of the Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving lives and facilitating bone marrow and blood stem cell transplants for patients with leukemia, lymphoma and other blood-related diseases.

The event, co-chaired by Jenna Langert and Lily Wool, is being held on the same day as the Cindy Wool Memorial Seminar on Humanism in Medicine. Lily is also on the board for the seminar. Her mother, Cindy, died after an unsuccessful bone marrow match for treatment of acute myelogenous leukemia.

“When my mom was first diagnosed,” says Lily, “all she asked of her medical team was the chance to see all three of her daughters get married. She didn’t get the chance and I want to do everything in my power to help more people reach their goals. It seems completely inconceivable to me that someone would die or needlessly suffer waiting for a possible bone marrow match just because people don’t sign up with a simple swab and possibly save a life. Losing my mom at 17 was a life-changing experience and I realized then, I had the choice to take what I learned about blood cancers and bone marrow transplants to try and make a difference for others.

“My age group is the perfect age to be a bone marrow donor, however most people my age are not thinking about blood cancers or the many thousands of people that will require a bone marrow transplant to live this year. I hope spreading awareness on my college campus might save just one life by providing a match.”

Potential donors should be between ages 18 and 60 and in general good health. Registration is fast and painless, requiring only a swab from the inside of the potential donor’s cheek. Although there is no cost for a volunteer to register, there is a $54 lab processing fee for each kit, and Gift of Life relies on donations to help offset these costs.

For more information, contact Naomi Schuster, Hillel director of student life, at 624-6561 or hillelnaomi@gmail.com,

visit www.giftoflife.org or call 1-800-9MARROW.