MAYWOOD, IL – Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine is hosting a student-led drive November 29 to sign up potential donors for life-saving bone marrow and blood stem cell transplants.
The drive will be held at two locations on the Loyola campus at 2160 S. First Ave., Maywood: the Loyola Center for Fitness from noon to 6 pm and the second floor atrium of Stritch School of Medicine from noon to 3 pm.
The drive is being conducted, for the second year in a row, by first-year medical students. Members of the Loyola community, along with the general public, are invited to register to become potential donors. The drive is open to adults ages 18 to 55.
Every three minutes in the United States, someone is diagnosed with a blood cancer. For many patients, a bone marrow transplant is the best chance for survival. While 30 percent of patients can find a matching donor in their families, 70 percent—nearly 14,000 each year—must rely on a donation from an altruistic stranger.
Registering requires a simple cheek swab. People who sign up are listed anonymously on the Be The Match Registry® operated by the National Marrow Donor Program. If and when a person on the registry matches a patient, that person will be asked to donate bone marrow or blood stem cells. The patient then undergoes a transplant that replaces the patient’s unhealthy blood stem cells with healthy cells from the donor.
The drive is being conducted with DKMS, an international non-profit organization that has registered more than six million potential donors worldwide.