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Nicholls students given opportunity to become blood donors for DMKS

November 15, 2018

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Nicholls students given opportunity to become blood donors for DMKS

Graphic by Jessica Mouton

Graphic by Jessica Mouton

Graphic by Jessica Mouton

Graphic by Jessica Mouton

An organization known as DMKS, Delete Blood Cancer, hosted a table for students to get swabbed to be potential donors Monday in the Recreational Center.

A student first filled out an electronic form of a few general questions, such as contact information, emergency contact information and general medical history.
Next, students were given three cotton swabs to swab the inside of their mouth. One for the inside of the right cheek, one inside the left cheek and one on the lower lip, each for about 45 seconds.

The swabs were then put into an envelope with a barcode that linked the student’s information to their swabs. The envelope is then sent off to a database that hosts eight million potential matches worldwide. There are about 100,000 donors in the United States alone.

Students who are a match are called and asked if they are willing to donate.
According to the DKMS website, one person is diagnosed with blood cancer every three minutes. For these patients, stem cell and bone marrow transplants are the best treatment options. These types of cancers, which would need those types of transplants, include leukemia and lymphoma. Only about 30 percent of patients have a match in their family. The other 70 percent need help to find a match, and that is where DKMS comes in.

Through DKMS, patients in need of stem cells and bone marrow are able to connect with matches that they could have potentially never met due to the distance between them.

If a person is a match, DKMS will completely fund transportation, stay and work compensation in order to get the person to where their blood or marrow is needed.

Usually, bone marrow is only taken from young, healthy donors. However, according to the DKMS website, there is less than a one percent chance that donors are perfect matches.

“Even if we can save one life by setting up this table, it’ll be worth it,” said Jodie Saia, president of the Colonels for Life Organization.

The Colonels for Life Organization set up a table on Saturday at the tailgate for the football game. They were also in Ayo Hall Monday and Tuesday. The organization said they hoped to have about 100 donations by the end of the drive Tuesday.

On Monday, Claire Lagrange, a member of the Colonels for Life Organization, said she hopes more people donate to the cause since Monday afternoon they were only at 35 participants.

Although the likelihood of a perfect match is not high, becoming a potential donor could mean saving a life. The Colonels for Life Organization hopes to bring more awareness to the topic of blood cancer and stem cells.

The DKMS table ended yesterday, Nov. 13.

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