Be The Match student club to debut at blood and marrow drives

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Be The Match student club to debut at blood and marrow drives

After lighting up the Shehadey Tower red last week, Fresno State continues its Blood Cancer Awareness Month campaign with blood and bone marrow registry drives this week and the debut of new student club, Be The Match On Campus.

The Jan and Bud Richter Center for Community Engagement and Service-Learning will hold the first of four blood drives this academic year from 4:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 15, in the University Dining Hall.

The drive continues from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, Sept. 16-17, at three blood mobiles near the University Student Union, Maple Mall and the Kremen Education building. See campus map.

All donors will receive a voucher for buy-one, get-one free admission to the 2015 Big Fresno Fair, a commemorative T-shirt, a free ice cream cone and free bottled water. Donors will also receive coupons for Juice It Up! (campus location only), the Kennel Bookstore and the on-campus Paws-N-Go.

Eligible donors must be in good general health, weigh a minimum of 110 pounds and be at least 17 years old. Donors are advised to have a good meal and plenty of liquids at least four hours prior to donating. Photo ID and social security number are required to register at the blood drive.

Members of the new Be The Match On Campus student club will be present at all three days of the blood drive to help interested individuals join the national marrow registry. Marrow registration requires a completed health history form and a swab of cheek cells.

The new student chapter at Fresno State is part of the national marrow donor program, Be The Match, and is one of three chapters in the California State University system.

Tosha Giuffrida, interim director of the learning center and Be the Match On Campus adviser, said the organization is recruiting students to become advocates for the registry and volunteer to sign people up.

“Our goal this year is to establish a sustainable chapter that will continue to educate students and the campus community about the need for people to join the marrow registry,” Giuffrida said. “We want to save lives, and if we register 500 people this year we can do just that.”

Patients are more likely to match someone of their own race or ethnicity, and doctors request donors ages 18-44 more than 90 percent of the time, she said.

The club plans to host marrow registry drives throughout the year on campus and in the community.

“We need committed people to help bring new ideas and to volunteer an hour here or there at our drives and other events,” said Ari Cavazos, president of the chapter.

The Be The Match On Campus students helped usher in the university’s observance of Blood Cancer Awareness Month Sept. 9 when they joined representatives of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Central California and  the Central California Blood Center to  kick off the national “Turn It Red” campaign by lighting the Shehadey Clock Tower at the Save Mart Center red, joining iconic landmarks throughout the nation in an effort to raise awareness.

For more information on the blood drive, contact Renee Delport, Richter Center special events and projects coordinator, at 559.278.7063.

For more information on Be The Match On Campus, contact Giuffrida at 559.278.5716 or Cavazos at ari_cavazos@mail.fresnostate.edu.

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