Marshall University students had a drive for DKMS Thursday, Nov. 15, to raise awareness about blood cancer and to encourage students to join the group.
DKMS is a nonprofit organization based out of Germany that works to combat blood cancer. The organization does this by compiling a worldwide file of thousands of potential donors. The drive, operated by students, allowed students to register with the organization, as well as learn more about what they do.
Adam Guthrie, president of DKMS’ Marshall chapter, said the organization works directly with blood cancer patients to best find matches for donors.
“I’ve been involved with DKMS for about four years,” Guthrie said. “I got involved in high school, when my friend was diagnosed with blood cancer. It’s something that’s growing here in West Virginia.”
Guthrie said he is proud of how many people he has been able to teach about DKMS.
“We’ve been able to register about 1,500 Marshall students to be potential donors,” Guthrie said. “We’ve had about 5 matching transplants, which is awesome, because you have less than one percent of a chance to match with a patient with blood cancer. We’ve saved at least five lives.”
College students are prime candidates for donating bone marrow with DKMS, Guthrie said.
“College students are healthy, they’re young, and they have less health issues,” Guthrie said. “When you have a donor, you want a healthy individual.”
Morgan Minut, a Marshall student who has been working with Guthrie for close to two years, said she began helping with DKMS after meeting Guthrie at a drive.
“I ran into him doing a drive outside the Student Center,” Minut said. “The drive after that, I started helping out, and I’ve been here ever since.”
Minut and Guthrie said they both believe DKMS is a good way of getting involved on campus.
“Most college students want to get involved in something,” Guthrie said. “We offer a way to get involved. And Marshall really helps with the advertisement aspect, as well as promoting.”
The Marshall community has been quite helpful when it came to these drives, Minut said.
“We’ve had a couple of campus groups that have come to assist with the volunteering, which has been great,” Minut said.
Those interested may register and view their eligibility at www.dkms.org. Registration is completely free, and DKMS will contact students if they become a potential donor to a patient.
Sam Phillips can be contacted at email@example.com.
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