BUIES CREEK -- The Teaching Fellows Program in Campbell University’s School of Education will hold a bone marrow registry drive for students, faculty and staff at Campbell and for individuals in surrounding communities on Wednesday, March 20, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. in Taylor Hall 118 on the university’s main campus in Buies Creek.
The drive will be part of Be The Match, a national marrow donor program that helps patients with blood diseases find bone marrow transplant donors and receive treatment. According to Be The Match, about 10,000 patients each year receive a bone marrow transplant.
“This Teaching Fellows service project, Be the One to Save One, has the potential to save lives,” said Carol Maidon, director of the Teaching Fellows Program. “We invite not only Campbell students but the community to support this endeavor.”
The idea for the bone marrow drive began with Kendele Moore, a junior from Lenoir, N.C., who is a history secondary education major in the program. Moore is a fan of ABC’s “Good Morning America,” and when host Robin Roberts announced that she had a rare blood disorder -- myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) -- and needed a bone marrow transplant, Moore began researching what the treatment entailed. Moore shared what she learned with Carol Maidon, director of the Teaching Fellows program. They decided to host a drive at Campbell.
“My hope for the drive is that we have a lot of people join the registry and become informed about being a bone marrow donor,” Moore said. “However, if we are able to register just one person who goes on to save another’s life, then we have accomplished our goal. There is someone out there waiting for stem cells; by joining the registry, we give life back to someone’s son, daughter, mother, father, sister or brother.”
Campbell student David Cassady, a senior in the Teaching Fellows Program from Woodbridge, Va., is also volunteering for the bone marrow registry drive. About 15 years ago, his father, David Joe, was diagnosed with leukemia. David Joe underwent a bone marrow transplant that saved his life. Recently, he celebrated his 48th birthday, and he’s a high school principal in Prince William County, Va.
“I certainly hope that the Teaching Fellows Bone Marrow Drive encourages a great number of both Campbell students and individuals in the surrounding community to attend and become registered bone marrow donors,” said David Cassady, who is student teaching junior-level English classes this semester at Fuquay-Varina High School. “I also think that one of the most important outcomes for this drive would simply be raising awareness and educating as many people as we can about the need for donors, as well as how to become one.”
Those who stop by the Teaching Fellows’ bone marrow drive on March 20, Cassady said, will receive information about bone marrow transplants, and volunteers will guide them through the process of filling out paperwork, answering questions and undergoing a painless cheek swab. Once a person’s information is entered into the Be The Match Registry, the individual will be contacted if he or she is a match for a patient.
“Taking the 15 minutes to come by and sign up truly does give you the chance to save a life,” Cassady said.
If a person is contacted about donating bone marrow, the process is very similar to donating blood, he added. The difference is that it takes a bone marrow transplant a little longer to harvest specific cells in the patient receiving the donation. The majority of the donations do not involve surgery; according to Be The Match, fewer than 5 percent do. There’s also no cost to donate bone marrow for the donors.
But it does cost about $100 for a tissue analysis to determine matches between donors and patients. “We want to help Be The Match with this cost,” too, Maidon said.
The Teaching Fellows Program is collecting monetary donations online, and will do so in person on March 20, that will go toward the Be The Match to pay for the tissue analyses. The program is also partnering with the Campus Grill, which will donate 10 percent of its sales from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, March 19, to the Be The Match.
“I am very proud of the Campbell students who have helped with this project,” Maidon said. “While Kendele Moore and Lizzie Murray have already donated many hours of service, we knew Teaching Fellows could not do this alone. Our partners have been the Pre-Pharmacy Club and psychology, education and physician assistant students.”
The Teaching Fellows Program in Campbell’s School of Education provides merit scholarships to students who pursue a teaching career in one of 15 different licensure areas at the elementary, middle or high school level. As part of the program, Fellows participated in a variety of academic, service and leadership activities that prepare them to be teachers who are leaders of academic excellence, who are problem solvers, who have a sense of dedication to the education profession, and who have a heart for serving others.
“I cannot think of an organization more suited to hosting this drive than Campbell’s Teaching Fellows Program because the nature of our program is to be leaders as well as servants to others,” Cassady said. “Every day Teaching Fellows are tutoring at the success center, playing in the pep band at basketball games or organizing Fellowship of Christian Athletes meetings and much more.
“I see this bone marrow registry drive as another great opportunity for us to be involved with the campus and the community.”
Photo: David Cassady with his father, David Joe, about 15 years ago, when David Joe was was diagnosed with leukemia. David Joe underwent a bone marrow transplant, which helped save his life. Today, he is a high school principal in Prince William County, Va. (Courtesy of David Cassady)
Article by Cherry Crayton, digital content coordinator