The Gustavian Weekly

Student orgs team up for Swab Drive | The Gustavian Weekly

By Samantha Walters - Staff Writer | December 8, 2017 | News

A student registers in the St. Peter Room during Swab Drive.

A student registers in the St. Peter Room during Swab Drive.

Be The Match has teamed up with Love Your Melon, Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity, and Tri-Beta Biological Honors Society to hold a Swab Drive at Gustavus earlier this week.

The purpose of the event was to find a match for someone suffering from blood cancer or another disease.

“The purpose of the Swab drive is to increase the registry for people to get bone marrow transplants… it’s very rare to find a match,” Love Your Melon, first-year member Maicy Vossen said.

Most of the time, the family or relatives are not a match, so the person has to receive a transplant from someone else in order to save their life.

Members of all three organizations tabled outside of the caf earlier this week, as well as last week.

They also posted events on Facebook to help spread the word.

“We count on a lot of social media and word of mouth… we just try to promote awareness to get people involved,” Vossen said.

The Swab Drive took place on Wednesday and Thursday and consisted of very little commitment with a large reward. “There’s no appointment needed you just walk in in between that time and they just swab your cheek with a Qtip,” first year Grace Ann Rerat  another member of Love Your Melon.

If you’re a match, you can donate blood or bone marrow to help save a kid’s life.

Love Your Melon has partnered with Be The Match and donated $100,000 to the program to help add more people to the bone marrow registry.

Founded at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, the goal of Love Your Melon is to put a hat on every kids’ head whose suffering from cancer, as well as donate 50% of profits to pediatric cancer research and families with kids battling cancer.  They have donated over $3 million and 123,000 beanies to kids in need.

“[The purpose] is to help save lives because it’s really hard to find bone marrow donors so if we can find at least one person on campus, it makes it worth it.” – Anh-Tuan Tong

“The Gustavus Adolphus College Love Your Melon Campus Crew will be spreading the mission, selling products to raise money, and personally giving hats to children in treatment in our community.” the Love Your Melon Facebook page says.

“We’re just trying to promote Love Your Melon and what the organization does,” Vossen said.

Be The Match is operated by the National Marrow Donor Program and manages the “largest and most diverse marrow registry in the world,” according to the organization’s website.

They have raised $3.3 million for 1,800 families and helped 6,200 people receive bone marrow transplants in 2016.

They also added 472,000 potential donors to the registry in the same year.

The organization has partnered with many corporations and foundations, such as American Airlines, Ford, Wells Fargo, and The United States Postal Service, as well as other colleges and universities.

There were Be The Match representatives at the Swab Drive who talked about their mission and answered questions.

“Seeing the lives that are saved through transplant drives our never-ending passion and dedication to find the match they need,” – Be The Match

“[The purpose] is to help save lives because it’s really hard to find bone marrow donors so if we can find at least one person on campus, it makes it worth it,” sophomore member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity and Tri-Beta Anh-Tuan Tong said.

Even if you didn’t make it to the event, you can still test to see if you’re a match and donate marrow and blood, as well as money, by signing up on bethematch.org.

You have the option of hosting drives, donating monthly, volunteer, or join legislative advocacy efforts.

Money goes towards the families as well as research efforts.

“Even if you’re not a match, you’re still willing to help someone else,” said first-year Love Your Melon member Beth Bowerman

“Seeing the lives that are saved through transplant drives our never-ending passion and dedication to find the match they need,” Be The Match said.