by Bailey Basham
When Sam Green was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in Sept. 2009, he was told his chances of survival were slim.
Nearly eight years later, Green is working as director of the center of worship arts because of a stem cell transplant from a match in his family.
Be the Match, a nonprofit operated by the National Marrow Donor Program to provide transplants to those diagnosed with blood cancers, will host a marrow drive in Jernigan lobby tomorrow.
“Had I not had a stem cell transplant, I wouldn’t be alive. There will be students in the future that get blood cancer, and bigger than that, people around the world are diagnosed every day. If something as simple as a donation could extend a life, to allow student in a convenient setting in their environment to be able to sign up for this possibility of making themselves available, it gives them the option in the future to maybe save someone’s life,” said Green.
Students who are interested in participating in the drive will complete a questionnaire, determining their eligibility to donate. After that, the students will swab the inside of their cheek for a DNA sample, and then they are done.
“Allowing Be the Match to come to the campus provides our students a chance to be involved through making a donation, while also helping our community be aware of the need and informed about how they can help. I thought Be the Match was a good match for us,” said Steve Harris, associate provost and dean of student development, who worked with Green to arrange the event.
According to the Be the Match website, 70 percent of people diagnosed with a blood cancer do not have a “fully matched donor in their family.” For many, the Green family included, this is where Trevecca students can help.
“I have a brother named Dan who was diagnosed with lymphoma after I was diagnosed with leukemia. He has also had a stem cell transplant. Our brothers were not a match for him, and they didn’t want my blood [because of my diagnosis],” said Green. “The Be the Match program was used for my brother, and he is doing great. The key is to have a match. Surely, there is somewhere in the world that could match you.”
If you are between the ages of 18 and 44 and are interested in being someone’s match, come to Jernigan lobby tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. to join the Be the Match registry.