Student nurses urge you to be the match

Have you ever wondered if you could be a match?

The Lake Region State College Student Nurse Organization will be encouraging area residents to consider being a match during the October 31st blood drive at LRSC and November 11th LRSC basketball game. Student nurses will have a table from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm October 31st for Be the Match in the hall next to Chautauqua Gallery the day of the blood drive and in the hall of the Devils Lake Sports Center during the Royals’ games November 11th. 

What is Be the Match?
Each year thousands of people with blood cancers like leukemia, lymphoma, sickle cell anemia, and other life-threatening diseases depend on bone marrow or cord blood transplants to save their life. Millions of people are on the Be the Match Registry and other registries throughout the world ready to donate the cells needed for transplants and patients in need.

Signing up is as simple as doing a cheek swab to add your tissue type into a registry. If someone is called as a potential match for a patent in need, they will be committed for 20-30 hours over a 4-6 week span to attend informational sessions, appointments, and the actual donation.

Making a difference
Former LRSC employee, Jill Hanson, answered the call and signed up for the registry. She recently returned home from donating cells to an individual who matched. Hanson traveled to Chicago to donate PBSC. She urges individuals to consider getting a kit to join the registry. 

“I donated stem cells to a woman in need and what an amazing experience it was! I am humbled and honored to be a part of "Be the Match" and hopefully the stem cells will give her hope and a long life,” Hanson said.

Replacing diseased cells with healthy ones can come from three sources: bone marrow; peripheral (circulating) blood (also called peripheral blood stem cells or PBSC) or blood collected from an umbilical cord after a baby is born. The type of source of cells for a patient is determined by their medical provider. Donors need to be 18 to 40 years of age at time of signup.

“Around 12,000 people are diagnosed each year and their only hope will be to match someone, you. By joining, YOU could save a life, I believe I'm only the 5th person in ND to match. Let's change that,” Hanson said. 

There were many that pitched in to help make Hanson’s trip possible and she encourages those interested in signing up to take that next step.

“If you have any questions about being a donor please reach out to me. Also, take the time to look at Be the Match Facebook page and website.”