In 2011, Jared Bonacquisti, a senior football player at West Chester University, saved a life. Bonacquisti had registered for the Be the Match bone marrow drive through the WCU football team’s program.
Sigitas Sleckus is alive today because Bonacquisti donated his marrow.
On Friday, April 22 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the South Campus Sturzebecker Science Building, the 2016 Be the Match bone marrow drive will take place.
The drive is simply a cheek swab test, and then your information goes into the database.
There are two types of procedures that one might then be asked to do, depending on what the doctor says is best for their patient.
One procedure is known as the peripheral blood stem cell donation. In this case, the donor is given a drug for five days that increases the number of cells in their bloodstream that are good for donation. Cells are then gathered through an outpatient procedure that is not considered surgery. Donors are usually back to their normal routines within one to two days.
The other procedure is a typical marrow donation. This surgery uses anesthesia and may result in some soreness, and it can take two to seven days for donors to go back to their regular routines.
A common myth about bone marrow donation is that the procedure is very painful. While some back discomfort is not unexpected, donors won’t feel anything during the procedure due to anesthesia.
The “Get in the Game; Save a Life” bone marrow registration drive program was started by Coach Andy Talley from Villanova University. He reached out to all the college and university football teams, encouraging them to do a marrow registration drive.
Everyone is encouraged to attend the drive on Friday, April 22.
Theresa Kelly is a fourth-year student majoring in English literature secondary education. Contact her at TK780615@wcupa.edu