Be the Match, and save a life. That's the mission and the motto of the bone marrow registry.
A steady stream of students signed up to be tissue-typed at the UMass Campus Center in Amherst Wednesday afternoon. They filled out and signed forms and swabbed the inside of their cheeks to become part of the national bone marrow database.
The process is mostly painless. Only about 20% of bone marrow harvest is done the old way, surgically, with a needle in a hip bone. Most bone marrow donations are done in a fashion similar to giving blood platelets.
Rhode Island Match Registry Coordinator Jackie Mcloon said she knows first hand how rewarding it can be, "I was lucky enough to match ten years ago. I actually did the hip one. I would do it again in a minute. I didn't feel it. I was under anesthesia. He was 9. He's now 19. So it was really worth it."
Bone Marrow transplants can save the life of someone with leukemia, other blood cancers, and fatal anemia.
The Umass Football team sponsored the recruitment drive, and several team members volunteered their time throughout the day in shifts.