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Register and save a life

Observer Viewpoint | Tuesday, April 19, 2005

There are currently over 3,000 patients suffering from life threatening blood disorders, such as leukemia and aplastic anemia, as well as certain immune system and genetic disorders. On April 21st, Howard Hall invites the entire Notre Dame community to participate in the fifth annual Howard Hall Bone Marrow Drive by registering in the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP).

The objective of the drive is to register students, faculty and staff as potential donors. You could save the life of one of these afflicted patients. In the four previous drives, multiple student donors have been contacted as potential matches. The NMDP has saved many lives, including a successful transplant for the late Vince Gurucharri (Notre Dame ’67), whose daughter Anne (Notre Dame ’03) founded this event back in 2001.

Howard Hall and the University of Notre Dame will sponsor the fifth annual Bone Marrow Drive on Thursday April 21st from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the LaFortune Student Center, Sorin and Dooley Rooms (1st floor). Registering requires only a small blood sample from donor candidates – far less than donating blood. By giving this sample, participants enter and remain in the National Registry until age 61. You only need to register once. By participating on Thursday, Howard Hall will cover all registration and blood-typing fees which would normally cost you $65.

This year, we hope to register a record number of potential donors and are strongly encouraging all those new to the Notre Dame community to take advantage of this opportunity to possibly save someone’s life. Additionally, Howard Hall would like to extend a special invitation to students, staff and faculty of non-Caucasian and mixed ethnicities. The national registry is in special need of minority donors, because they are underrepresented in the national marrow bank. Matches are often consistent with shared ethnic backgrounds, and the registry hopes to increase the chances of finding matches for minority patients.

The ultimate goal of the Registration Drive is to identify life-saving matches through secondary genetic testing and ultimately a surgical procedure. At this time, however, candidates are asked to take the first step by registering in the bone marrow drive and initiating the process of helping a stranger or quickening a family member’s search for a potential match. We are asking you to help those current and future patients by registering, raising awareness on campus and increasing their chances of finding a donor!

For more information regarding the National Bone Marrow Donor Program and donation eligibility guidelines, please visit www.marrow.org.

This will be 15 minutes of your day that could truly make the difference in preserving someone else’s life. To pre-register to become a potential donor or to volunteer your time to work at the Drive, please visit http://www.nd.edu/~howard/bonemarrow/.

We hope to see you on Thursday!

Natalie Bennett

Caitlin McGinty


Howard Hall

Bone Marrow Drive


April 19