News + Events

FHU Plans Bone Marrow Registration Drive

Henderson, Tenn. - Feb 04, 2016

Freed-Hardeman University will host a bone marrow registration drive Monday, February 15, from 2:00pm - 7:00pm. Deletebloodcancer.org is coordinating with FHU Dean of Student Life Tony Allen, the University Program Council and volunteers from Freed-Hardeman social clubs to conduct the drive.

“Donating bone marrow is an opportunity for people who think they can’t do a whole lot to do something that could potentially save someone’s life,” Allen said.

Registering to donate bone marrow is free and requires the individual to be swabbed and fill out paperwork. Individuals who match will be contacted to discuss the remainder of the donating process. A donor must be at least 18 years old to register.

Bone marrow transplants are a treatment for certain types of cancer, diseases that affect bone marrow, and those whose bone marrow has degraded due to chemotherapy.

In conjunction with the registration drive, the Society of Future Marketers will host a Chick-Fil-A Day Thursday, Feb. 4. The funds will be used to process the DNA from the mouth swabs taken at registration.

“The national registry for marrow donors is critical to match those people whose family members do not match. A familial match is the best bet, but it does not always work. I have a friend who donated bone marrow for her brother over 15 years ago. He is still doing well. We also have an FHU student who is now at St. Jude and has recently had a marrow transplant,” Dwina Willis, Freed-Hardeman associate professor of biology and Bible, said.

Individuals who continue with the donating process will be given a medical history survey and physical exam before the procedure.

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, donor cells are collected one of two ways. In a bone marrow harvest the donor is placed under general anesthesia, and the marrow is taken from the back of the hip. The other way is leukapheresis. During leukapheresis, the donor is given shots to help stem cells move from the bone marrow into the blood. The blood is then removed through an IV line. Stem cells are separated and removed to be given to the recipient.                                                                                       

Deletebloodcancer.org states that approximately 70 percent of all patients who need bone marrow transplants require a match outside of their family. Currently, their records show that 759,677 people have registered and 2,360 transplants have occurred. They have hosted 10,358 donation drives.

Freed-Hardeman University invites both on and off campus participants to register.