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Dancing to Support Cancer Patients

by on July 19, 2015

Donate now to NYCC's Dance Marrow-thon for Be The MatchNYCC Student Body President Bryan Kent wrote:

The first ever New York Chiropractic College Dance Marrow-Thon will serve as a fundraiser and awareness event to benefit BeTheMatch.org. Operated by the National Marrow Donor Program, BeTheMatch.org has organized the largest and most diverse marrow registry in the world. Saving lives is their mission and we are here to help. We encourage all faculty, staff, and students of NYCC to raise money, join the national bone marrow registry, and DANCE YOUR FACE OFF!

EVENT DATE: JUL 24, 2015

We may be a small community, but we can have an incredible impact. We all have the chance to save a life all for the cost of 100 dollars and an oral cheek swab. You can be the match, you can save a life!

Here’s my story:

Two years ago I was at lunch during a research event at the University of New Hampshire with my parents, when two football players approached our dining table. They asked us if we would swab our cheeks for the Be The Match bone marrow registry. They showed us a survey that would get a quick overview of our health profile, and gave us Q-tips to swab the inside of our cheek. It was easy, so I said sure.

After I sealed up my swab and handed it over to the teammates, they gave me a card to remind me that I would be added to the National Marrow Donor Program’s registry. The program has been in operation for over 25 years, building an index of donors, their health profiles and, of course, their cheek cells. They use the information to match patients with blood cancers with potential donors who have volunteered to provide marrow. My Be The Match card went right into a drawer in my childhood bedroom when I came back to school.

Getting the call

This February, though, I got a message on my voicemail from Be The Match. Then an email. Then a letter. All in about two days. They said I had been matched with a patient in need of a marrow transplant. They were still in the preliminary stages of matching this patient with a donor, but I had made the short list. Would I have the time and dedication to support this patient by donating my own bone marrow, they asked? It was easy: I said sure.

The primary recipients of marrow transplants are those fighting blood cancers. That includes leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma. Every person has unique biological markers and requirements of their marrow, and that is why a marrow registry needs as much variety as possible in its donors. When you get matched, it means someone else very much like you needs your help.

Ultimately, the donor program did not need my services. “As much as the search depends on you, it also depends on the patient’s condition and the doctor’s consideration of whether transplant is the best option,” Be The Match writes. I remain in the registry, and I will be there if they need my help in the future.

You can help right now!

Right now, students at NYCC are fundraising for the Be The Match program. Swab analysis and volunteer indexing costs the registry about $100 per sample, and all donations will assist in registering new potential marrow donors. Since I’m already indexed, all proceeds donated through my efforts will go toward someone else who wants to participate as a donor. Collectively, our small campus hopes to raise support for adding 100 more individuals to the marrow registry. Each one means another chance that a patient in need will have a chance at life.

Please donate today! As little as $10 puts another dent in the costs of this life-saving program.

Every dollar will keep me dancing for one minute at our Dance Marrow-thon on Friday, July 24th. I’ll be practicing my moves and hoping not too many end up on YouTube. That said, reaching my goal may just buy my supporters an exclusive look.

The NYCC Dance Marrow-thon will be held in the Standard Process Recreation Center on July 24th from 7:00 pm to midnight. You can donate to the cause on Crowdrise. Our goal is to raise $10,000 to support Be The Match’s lifesaving work.

UPDATE 7/30:

On Friday, NYCC students rallied in a giant Dance Marrow-thon to raise money for bone marrow registry Be The Match. All told, the inaugural fundraiser collected $12,091 for the cause, contributing toward registering donors and funding research to help patients fighting blood cancers like leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma. On campus, 140 students, faculty and staff swabbed their cheeks for addition to the registry. Also, a gym full of doctoral students put their best dance moves on display for five hours. It was a sight to behold.

Thank you to the donors, the dedicated student organizers, and all who supported this event! You can check out an album of pictures from the event here!

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