The holiday season is rolling around, and that means its time for happiness, joy, and, of course, giving.
For some, spending time with family and friends is a common past time, but for others, struggling to survive is their everyday fear.
That is when Be the Match steps in.
Be the Match is an organization set on finding a cure for people with life-threatening blood cancers, such as leukemia and lymphoma. It gives patients hope in matching them up with someone that could be the donor they need.
As thousands of people are diagnosed with these sicknesses each year, Be the Match is here to help as many patients as they can with the selfless bone marrow donors ready to save lives.
Each year, Springfield College coincides with the Be the Match organization, setting up a blood drive for students and faculty to register and volunteer their time.
On Tuesday, Dec. 3, the Physician Assistant Club held a Be the Match bone marrow drive, offered to the Springfield community. Lasting about three hours, the club, led by four senior board members, hoped to attract all those willing to donate during this season of giving.
“We are trying to get as many people in the registry as possible because the more people in it, the more matches for those in need of [bone marrow],” said senior vice president of the club, Emily Veneziano.
On average there are only about five matches for every 10 patients with different variables, such as race, making it harder to find an acceptable donor. For this reason, Be the Match has expanded its campaign internationally in order to find as many matches as they can.
Springfield College holds two Be the Match bone marrow drives each year, one in the fall run by the Physician Assistant Club, and the other in the spring, run by the football team.
For Tuesday’s drive, around 30 people volunteered for the registry system in hopes of making a difference in someone else’s life.
“Even though only 30 people signed up, that is 30 more people they have in the registry than they did before,” said Veneziano.
Be the Match holds eight bone marrow drives throughout each college semester, traveling to different campuses every time.
“It reaches so far past this community,” said senior president of the club Ashley Sullivan. “You are not going to know the person…you are just going to save their life.”
Connecting with Be the Match can be the perfect way to give back for the holiday season.