Are you the missing piece?

Jul 29, 2005

Kettering will host a bone marrow donation drive Aug. 10 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Bone marrow donation can save lives, as Kettering students found out last year when one became a match only a few months after joining the national marrow donation list.

Students from B-Section hosted a drive in November of 2004 that identified a marrow donor for a patient with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia. Carl Gansen, a senior majoring in Computer Engineering, was identified out of 5.5 million people who have volunteered to donate marrow or blood cells to any patient, anywhere in the world, as a genetic match after joining the National Marrow Donor Program.

Because of the success of the first drive, Kettering University students are sponsoring a second bone marrow testing drive Wednesday, Aug. 10, from 11a.m. - 6p.m. in BJ's Lounge on the ground floor of the Campus Center for the National Marrow Donor Program.

To prepare for his donation in early June of this year, Gansen received injections of a blood cell growth factor called filgrastim each day for five days to increase the number of stem cells in his blood stream. The donation took place at the Michigan Blood Center in Grand Rapids, Mich. Following apheresis, the donated stem cells were introduced into the recipient intravenously, much like a blood transfusion.

Once the donated cells enter the patient's circulatory system, it takes about one month to see the first evidence of "graft" meaning the patient's marrow has begun to work and is producing new blood cells.

Only a small sample of blood is needed to be included on the marrow donor registry. Donors must be adults aged 18 to 60 and in good general health. The July 10 Kettering marrow drive goal is to add 250 people to the Marrow Donor registry. There is a special need for marrow donors from minority and ethnic populations.

Click on this link for more information about marrow donation.

Written by Dawn Hibbard