Bone marrow is not an easy thing to talk about on a typical Tuesday, but 28 enthusiastic students and employees at Centralia College signed up for the Be the Match Bone Marrow Registry on Dec. 2 in the Walton Science Center.
The drive was in honor of Ed Riley, a local writer, Centralia College graduate, and college employee recently diagnosed with a rare bone marrow disease that will require a bone marrow transplant.
“Ed’s illness has really affected the Centralia College family and we wanted to do everything we could to help,” said Dr. Robert Frost, Centralia College president. “We may not find a local match for Ed, but we could find a match for someone else desperate for a bone marrow transplant.”
Unfortunately, 70 percent of people needing a bone marrow transplant will not find a match in their family. The registry provides a critical link between potential donors and patients in need of life-saving transplants.
“I am truly moved by the outpouring of support from the Centralia College community. The people are what make Centralia College so special, and why I, first as a student, and later as an employee fell in love with the college and the difference it makes in peoples lives every day,” said Riley, who came to the drive to thank donors and share his story.
If you missed the registry drive and wish to register as a potential donor, visit BeTheMatch.org or call 1-800-MARROW-2. Volunteers must be in good health and be between 18-44 years old. A simple cheek swab is needed.