Vance-Granville Community College, in partnership with the Project Life Movement, held a three-day, three-campus bone marrow registration drive in October. The service project was led by students and faculty in the VGCC Radiography program. The result was that 40 people joined the national registry of potential bone marrow donors.
Students, faculty and staff signed up and swabbed their cheeks to provide DNA samples at the events, held on Oct. 3 at the college’s South Campus, Oct. 4 at the Main Campus and Oct. 5 at the Franklin County Campus. The painless registration process took only a few minutes, but could save a life if a participant turns out to be a match for someone in need of a bone marrow transplant. Such treatments are the only hope for many people diagnosed with leukemia, lymphoma, sickle cell anemia and other blood cancers and diseases.
Project Life is a national movement that started with students at Davidson College and has spread to more than 25 other schools and has registered more than 13,000 donors. This was VGCC’s second college-wide bone marrow registration event held in conjunction with Project Life. The first was in the fall of 2015.
This year, VGCC students were joined at their events by Dorian Edwards, campus coordinator for Project Life. He helped train the student volunteers and process registrations. Edwards, who is also an assistant football coach at Kinston High School, likened being on the registry to “being a member of a football or basketball team, sitting on the bench, but being ready to be called into the game at any time.” Once a person registers, he or she is listed on the registry until they reach the age of 61, so many students may remain a potential lifesaver for 40 years. Project Life works with “Be The Match,” operated by the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP). Be The Match has managed the largest and most diverse marrow registry in the world for more than 25 years.
For more information, contact Radiography Clinical Coordinator/instructor Stacey Soles at (252) 738-3515 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Ann Henegar at Project Life at (704) 299-6310 or www.projectlifemovement.org.
Above: Second-year VGCC Radiography students, joined by Clinical Coordinator/instructor Stacey Soles (at far left) and Dorian Edwards, campus coordinator for Project Life (in back, at far right), welcomed fellow students, faculty and staff to join the bone marrow donor registry in the student lounge on VGCC’s Main Campus. (VGCC photo)
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