Monica Dore, News Editor
In two weeks, the Brothers of Zeta Beta Tau will be hosting the first ever bone marrow registration drive in the central New York region. The event will be held in Hunt Union Ballroom from 12-5 p.m. on October 8 and 9 and is available to anyone ages 18 to 60 who is in generally good health.
The goal of the drive is to have as many students, faculty and local citizens as possible register for bone marrow transplants. Transplants are crucial for many patients, young and old, who suffer from leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma and other blood-related diseases. Patients who receive the transplant for cancer and other blood-related diseases usually undergo chemotherapy or radiation, which destroys bone marrow. After these forms of treatment, blood-forming cells from a healthy donor’s bone marrow are put directly into the bloodstream of the recipient, where they can multiply and strengthen the patient. Although the procedure is said to be painful for some donors, it is a small price to pay for the gift of life.
Annually, about 18,000 people undergo the bone marrow or umbilical cord blood transplants. Some of the donations come from family, but about 70 percent of those in need of a transplant do not have a donor within their family. With only 30 percent of possible recipients being covered by their families, the need for donations from strangers is very obvious.
Live music, light refreshments and a speech from a survivor a bone marrow transplant recipient will be part of the event. A quick and painless swab on the inside of the mouth is all that will be needed to register.
Zeta Beta Tau is working with Gift of Life, an organization that has conducted over 4,000 drives and has registered over 200,000 people for this cause. Inter-Fraternity Council President and Zeta Beta Tau Vice-President Russell Lowe said, “The brothers of Zeta Beta Tau have a strong sense of community and giving back, and this event was a perfect outlet for that purpose.”
More information about the upcoming drive can be found on Zeta Beta Tau’s Facebook page or at GiftOfLife.org.