Sorority to host forum on donating bone marrow

Ryan Wilkinson

Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. will host a forum centered around donating bone marrow for life-saving transplant surgeries at 7:30 p.m. in Oscar Ritchie Hall.

“The purpose of the forum is to educate the students of Kent State about donating bone marrow and hopefully get them to sign up to join the National Bone Marrow Registry,” said Michelle McCall, senior business management major and president of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc.

The registry is a list of all the volunteer bone-marrow donors across the world. According to the National Marrow Donor Program’s Web site, since 1987, the registry has led to the successful treatment of more than 25,000 people who needed bone marrow transplant surgery.

“Just because you sign up to join the registry does not mean you will be accepted,” McCall said. “You need to meet certain health requirements to be considered safe for donation.”

Last semester Zeta Phi Beta collaborated with Black United Students, and the two organizations were able to add 30 new names to the registry after the donors had the proper health examinations.

This time, Zeta Phi Beta is acting alone but has a goal of adding 40 new names to the list of healthy donors.

“Our main focus is to get a lot of African-American students to sign up. In order for a transplant to be successful, the donor and recipient need to be a match. It is more likely that you will find a match within your own race,” McCall said. “There are not currently many African-American donors, but there are a high number of African Americans awaiting a transplant.”

The forum will feature discussions with a survivor of a life-saving bone marrow transplant surgery and also a mother who lost her child when a proper donor could not be found.

Contact ROTC and Greek life reporter Ryan Wilkinson at [email protected].