Hillel organizes bone marrow registration drive for Nov. 1
Hillel organizes bone marrow registration drive for Nov. 1October 25, 2007Cynthia J. Moritzcjmoritz@syr.edu
Hillel at Syracuse University has organized a Gift of Life Donor Drive for Thursday, Nov. 1, in multiple locations on the SU campus to identify potential bone marrow donors. More than 150 student volunteers are being mobilized to conduct a simple test — a cotton swab is applied to the inside of the cheek — in order to identify, register and match potential donors and those afflicted with leukemia and other blood-related diseases.
The campaign is chaired by Helene Kahn, an SU sophomore policy studies major from Baltimore whose brother Eli is a leukemia survivor. Kahn is the tzedek, or social justice chair, of the student board of Hillel at Syracuse University and an assembly member of SU’s Student Association.
“We are delighted to be partnering with SU student associations and fraternities and sororities who have a strong philanthropic commitment and recognize the importance of this work,” says Lowell H. Lustig, executive director of Hillel at Syracuse University. “Student volunteers will be seen throughout campus up through Nov. 1 wearing light blue T-shirts with the message `You Got Swabbed’ to bring attention to this campaign. If we achieve our objective of registering 1,000 potential donors, this will be the largest drive ever held on a college campus nationwide. More importantly, and most critically, we will all be working to save lives!”
Gift of Life, a national organization based in Boca Raton, Fla., maintains an international registry of potential donors. Bone marrow is a more difficult and specific match than is blood type. Individuals from similar ethnicities tend to have a better chance of having similar marrow. College campuses are uniquely composed of a diverse student base and until recently have been an untapped resource for identifying a significant registration pool.
While the need for potential donors is not limited to specific ethnic groups, the registration of members of the Jewish community of both Ashkenazic (East European) and Sephardic (Southern European and North African) descent is particularly acute because of severed blood lines in the aftermath of the Holocaust. There is a desperate need for the identification of Sephardic Jews who currently make up less than 1 percent of the total potential international donor pool.
However, the need for potential donors is not limited to members of the Jewish community, and all SU students, faculty members and staff members, or other residents of the larger Central New York community who are between the ages of 18-60 and in general good health are invited to be tested in the Panasci Lounge of the Hildegarde and J. Myer Schine Student Center Nov. 1 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Members of the University community may also be tested from 4-9 p.m. in the Goldstein Student Center, Archbold Gymnasium, Brewster Hall, Day Hall, DellPlain Hall, Haven Hall, Sadler Hall and Shaw Hall.
This event is co-sponsored by SU’s Student Association and Residence Hall Association, and the following fraternities and sororities: Alpha Chi Omega, Alpha Epsilon Pi, Alpha Phi, Alpha Xi Delta, Delta Delta Delta, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Sigma Alpha Mu and Tau Kappa Epsilon.