HAZLETON, Pa. — Penn State Hazleton’s Medical Laboratory Technology club will partner with national nonprofit Be the Match’s Marrow Donor Program to host a bone marrow registry drive from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 20, in the upper lobby of the campus’ Butler Teaching and Learning Resource Center, 76 University Drive, Hazleton.
Be the Match is a national nonprofit organization that connects patients with a matching donor for transplant. The event will provide information on the potential life-saving impact of donating bone marrow and give attendees the opportunity to join the Be the Match Registry. For patients with blood cancers such as leukemia and other life-threatening blood diseases like sickle cell anemia, a bone marrow transplant is often the only hope for a cure.
At the registry drive, attendees can either collect and submit a simple cheek swab in person or have a kit mailed to them to complete on their own. Be the Match then tests the sample and the information is added to the registry. When a patient is in need, Be the Match will use the registry to determine which donor is the best match. The donor then has the opportunity to become that patient’s cure.
Of particular need are potential donors ages 18 to 35 who are from diverse ethnic backgrounds, as a patient’s best chance of finding a donor may be with someone that shares their ethnic background, according to Be the Match.
Lori Yeager, Medical Laboratory Technology program coordinator and lecturer in the MLT program at Penn State Hazleton, said the registry drive not only benefits people in need but also gives valuable experience to students in the MLT program who will be working at the event as volunteers.
The event is among the first organized by the newly formed Medical Laboratory Technology Club, Yeager added.
“It was important for me to give this experience to MLT students. As students, they learn about the causes of blood diseases, how they are diagnosed and treated. When they become MLTs and are working in the field, they perform the testing which enables doctors to diagnose and treat blood diseases.” she said. “We’re really on the front lines of helping to diagnose these disorders.”
There’s no fee to join the registry and no fee if an individual is ultimately selected as a donor, Yeager said.
Attendees should follow signs posted at the entrance to campus for parking information or view the interactive campus map for directions.
Contact Yeager at 570-450-3054 or [email protected] for additional information.