APO sponsors bone marrow screening, blood drive

APO sponsors bone marrow screening, blood drive

Service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega is sponsoring a blood drive along with Carter BloodCare this week, giving students a chance to give blood and be screened for bone marrow donorship.APO member Mary Bauman, a junior English major, said APO is sponsoring the drive as one of the fraternity’s service projects.

“We get people to donate blood,” Bauman said, “because we figure college students are healthy and we have a large base of people to choose from.”

The drive began Tuesday, and students will be able to donate blood from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. today and Thursday in the Student Center.

Robert Lloyd, team leader for Carter BloodCare, said there are shortages in 22 hospitals in 22 counties in Texas.

“Right now we need blood,” Lloyd said.

Lloyd said there are not as many blood donations during this period of the year.

Mollie Bruss, a senior marketing major who participated in the drive, said donating blood comes from a desire to help others.

“I’ve had friends in the past that have needed blood, and if I ever needed it, I would want them to donate too,” Bruss said.

Renetta Wright, recruitment specialist for Cook Children’s Medical Center, which did the bone-marrow screening, said there is not a shortage of marrow, but donors are always needed to diversify the registry and give each needy patient a better chance of finding a match.

Wright said donating bone marrow is different from donating blood because it requires a screening to test for a match.

“We partner together because its a donation process,” Wright said. “But you only donate the marrow when you actually match someone.”

Wright said donors are screened using a sample of the applicant’s marrow, which is taken by a small needle prick.

Wright said students’ marrow samples could go to help save the life of a leukemia or cancer victim.

“For patients that have leukemia and different types of cancer, having someone’s marrow donated becomes their last treatment option, so that’s why we encourage as many people as possible to become registered marrow donors,” Wright said.