CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - Southern Illinois University Carbondale will host a bone marrow registry drive Tuesday, April 11 through Wednesday April 12, at the north end of the Student Center.
The drive will be from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on both days. To donate, you must be 18-44 years old. Registration usually takes about 15 minutes and includes a cheek swab. Patients are matched based on race and DNA, not blood type.
Robert Broomfield,an academic adviser at the University, knows all too well the importance of bone marrow registry drives. Broomfield was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in 2012. He spent more than a week on a ventilator after developing a staph infection and pneumonia and spent two months in rehabilitation. Broomfield received a stem cell transplant in March 2013 from an anonymous donor in Germany. By August 2013 he was able to return to work. Today he is cancer free.
"It becomes a scary thing while you are getting the transplant realizing that this may not possibly work," Broomfield said, also noting that a simple test can result in a person's life being saved.
Broomfield said a lot of hard work goes into matching bone marrow to the right person and hospital officials told him that when testing for matches, each test cost $7,000. He also cautioned that relatives are not automatic donors as neither of his brothers were matches.
"So if it was not for this gentleman in Germany... my daughter would not have her dad," he said. "For such a small thing, it really makes a huge difference to someone."
If you want to register but can't make it to the drive you can join online by clicking here.
The event is sponsored by the Alpha chapter of Sigma Phi Sigma, a fraternity within the Mortuary Science and Funeral Service program, SIU Athletics and "Be The Match.org"