By Alan Shope, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -
The need to donate blood is often advertised, but there is just as great a need for bone marrow.
On Wednesday, college students at Avila University are doing all they can to get the word out.
It's a pretty busy day for Avila student Ben Dlugolecki, but in between tests and pop quizzes, Dlugolecki said he always has time to help.
"I'm taking 10 minutes out of my day, and someone's been waiting years and years for this - it's the least thing I could do," Dlugolecki said.
That's why Dlugolecki and hundreds of other Avila students spent time Wednesday getting swabbed.
"Students that range from 18-25 years old have the potential to be rich in bone marrow and are a good match for bone marrow transplants," said Liz Winke with the Avila Student Nurses Association
The idea came from trying to help the Murry family - all four of their sons have a disease called Diamond-Blackfan anemia, which requires them to have monthly blood transfusions. They need bone marrow transplants.
Organizers said the first step is just getting registered to see if a person is a match for one of the nearly 10,000 Americans in need.
"I thought it was going to really hurt if I am a match, so she told me it's not that bad. So if I am a match, I'll probably do it," student Jozzi Rainey said.
The group said their goal is to get 500 new registered donors in one afternoon.
Nationally, every four seconds someone is diagnosed with a blood disease and every 10 minutes someone dies.
"It's like finding your genetic twin, we're looking for your HLA DNA characteristics so it's very important to get as many people on the registry. In the U.S. alone our registry is about 3 million, so the more people we get, the more lives that will be saved," donor recruiter Joyce Jones said.
The bone marrow match drive goes on until 6:30 p.m. at Avila University.
For more information on bone marrow donation, click here.
Copyright2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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