Be the Match
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// Written by Mark Salamone
Wauwatosa West hosted a donor sign up drive for blood marrow on Thursday, May 28. The event, held in the Trojan Room, was organized by Be the Match and senior Sara Steybe.
Several dozen students, staff, and community members added their DNA to the international blood marrow donation registry of Be the Match through the drive.
Each participant rubbed four cotton swab in their mouths. The swabs will be used to determine if any donor matches DNA with any potential blood marrow recipients. If a participant matches, he or she will be able to donate marrow to help individuals suffering from diseases such as leukemia or aplastic anemia.
Steybe helped organize the drive. In her junior year, Steybe donated blood marrow to her sister. She said she wanted to help people in need of blood marrow.
“Obviously I learned from the experience, but I didn’t know what was out there for people who weren’t matched,” said Steybe. If that had happened, said Steybe, her sister would have needed the help of a donor registry.
Steybe said that learning about this inspired her to try to help people who weren’t as fortunate as her sister had been.
“One of the things I really wanted to do my senior year was hold a drive at West,” said Steybe. “I wanted to do it around Relay for Life, which is organized to help cancer patients.”
She said that the experience was difficult, but the benefits outweighed the effort.
“Once I got a pretty good team of volunteers, it was a lot easier,” said Steybe.
Lindsay’s Voice, an organization dedicated to raising awareness of diseases such as leukemia, and supporting blood marrow donation and research, donated $8,000 to Be the Match. The money will be used to help eighty people register for blood marrow donation.