The City University of New York in conjunction with New York Blood Center will host blood and bone marrow drives at CUNY campuses throughout the five boroughs to help save the lives of patients in need of life-saving blood products and patients who are battling a life-threatening disease and need a bone marrow or cord blood transplant to survive.
CUNY will hold a press conference to announce the combined drives on Monday, February 1, 2010, at 1:30pm in front of BMCC’s Richard Harris Terrace. BMCC will also hold a blood drive on February 1st from 10:00am to 4:00pm.
President Pérez encourages BMCC community to participate
Among CUNY leaders attending the press conference will be Interim Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Peter Jordan and BMCC President Antonio Pérez.
“The uniqueness of CUNY’s diverse student body becomes an invaluable asset to the New York City’s blood supply. It is of utmost importance to have a blood supply that mirrors the landscape of recipients, especially when a recipient requires a specific antigen that few possess, and CUNY students mirror New York’s population. I strongly encourage CUNY students, faculty and staff to participate in this blood drive and to volunteer to be bone marrow donors,” said CUNY Interim Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Peter Jordan.
“The BMCC community is well known for generosity toward those in need, and we are proud to participate in The City University of New York/New York Blood Center’s Blood and Bone Marrow Drive,” said Antonio Pérez, President of Borough of Manhattan Community College. “Our kickoff event on February 1st will raise awareness and address the inequity reflected in the City’s current donor pool, in which less than half of all African Americans seeking a bone marrow match are able to find one. A case in point is that of Jennifer Jones Austin, a beloved community activist with over two decades of service to our City, who has been diagnosed with leukemia and is now urgently seeking a bone marrow match. Join BMCC students, staff and faculty, as we strive to offer aid to Ms. Austin and countless other New Yorkers by registering as a possible marrow donor.”
Who is Jennifer Jones Austin and what is the Be Match Registry ?
Healthy individuals, ages sixteen (with parental permission or consent) and older, are encouraged to donate blood at any of the scheduled CUNY blood drives. Blood donors at each of the blood drives will also have an opportunity to help save the life of Jennifer Jones Austin by joining the Be The Match Registry, a national bone marrow registry that matches donors to patients in need of a life-saving bone marrow transplant. The donor registry drives in honor of Jennifer Jones Austin are an effort to raise awareness about the need for more African American bone marrow donors, and to perhaps find a matching donor for 41-year old Austin and many other patients like her.
Austin, a well-respected community activist for children and families, was recently diagnosed with leukemia and her only hope for a cure is a marrow transplant. Like 70 percent of patients, Austin does not have a matching donor in her family and is depending on the Be The Match Registry – the largest listing of volunteer marrow donors – to find a match.
“Thousands of people like me are searching for their donor match,” Austin said. “By joining the Be The Match Registry you have a special opportunity to offer the gift of life to someone. No higher act of service exists.”
The Be The Match Registry drive for Ms. Austin is aimed especially at recruiting more African Americans to join the registry. Patients are more likely to find a match from among donors who share the same race or ethnicity. Yet out of a registry of millions, fewer than 10 percent are African Americans.
Interested volunteers can join the Be The Match Registry at several locations throughout the United States. People also can sign up to be the one to save a life by visiting BeTheMatch.org. To join, people need to be between the ages of 18 and 60, willing to donate to any patient in need, and meet health guidelines.
Registration is simple and involves completing a health history form and giving a swab of cheek cells. There is no cost to join the Be The Match Registry, but financial contributions help cover the $100 it costs to add each new registry member. For more information, visit www.BeTheMatch.org or call 1(800) MARROW-2.
The need for blood is constant. New York Blood Center calls upon the community to please donate blood. Blood drive cancellations from the weekend storm of December 19, 2009, coupled with unusually high demand from regional hospitals, have impacted Rh-negative blood supplies, especially type O-negative.
Join CUNY and the New York Blood Center
Please join CUNY and New York Blood Center to help save the lives of those in need of life-saving blood products by donating blood and joining the Be The Match Registry to help save the lives of patients in need of a life-saving bone marrow or cord blood transplant.
To donate blood, please call:
Toll Free: 1-800-933-2566
For more information about Blood and Bone Marrow Drives on CUNY campuses go to:
Editorial Note: BMCC’s Office of Public Affairs thanks the CUNY Newswire for this story.