Back to:
Current year's news releases

All news releases
News and information home

UW-Eau Claire Bone Marrow Registry Drive
Offers Opportunity to Save a Life

RELEASED: Feb. 24, 2009

EAU CLAIRE — A bone marrow donor registry drive will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 3 in the Oneida and Ho-Chunk rooms of the Davies Center at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire as part of the second annual Eberth Alarcón Peace and Justice Lecture Series. Those interested in joining the registry may come anytime during those hours, and all campus and community members between the ages of 18 and 60 are encouraged to take the opportunity to save a life.

Volunteers from campus and the National Marrow Donor Program will be on hand to answer questions and assist with the process, which takes approximately 20 minutes — 15 minutes for paperwork and a short time for a cheek swab. Potential donors are asked to come prepared to document their health histories and bring three contact addresses to aid in locating them in the future should they be identified as a potential match for someone in need of a donation. Some conditions preclude donating marrow, and that information will be on display at the drive.

Although there is normally a cost associated with joining the registry, sponsoring organizations on campus have donated funds to cover costs, so there will be no charge for joining the registry at this drive. However, any donations will be gratefully accepted.

Eberth Alarcon
Alarcón

The drive was initiated by Dr. Asha Sen, widow of UW-Eau Claire mathematics professor and social activist Dr. Eberth Alarcón, who died from a rare form of leukemia in September 2006. While fighting his cancer, Alarcón and Sen discovered it is very difficult for people of minority heritage to find bone marrow donor matches. That prompted Sen, a UW-Eau Claire associate professor of English, and UW-Eau Claire graduate student Nichole Ray to organize the bone marrow registry drive with the help of many campus organizations. Ray's father, Lt. Col. Frank Tall Dog Duran, died from multiple myeloma before finding a matching bone marrow donor. People with even a small percentage of minority ancestry are especially encouraged to sign the registry, but many more Caucasian donors are always needed as well.

John Pawloski, a representative of the NMDP who spoke at a Feb. 16 UW-Eau Claire panel discussion about bone marrow donation, said that more than 125 students and faculty at UW-Stout answered the call when a drive was held there, and he hoped that UW-Eau Claire and the surrounding community would rise to the challenge to do as well. He also noted that approximately 70 percent of all bone marrow donations are now done through stem cell donations via blood, so peoples' concerns about painful bone marrow procedures for donors are no longer really relevant.

The drive is sponsored by UW-Eau Claire's Staff and Faculty for Peace and Justice; Sigma Tau Delta chapter; Native American Student Association; Hmong Student Association; Office of Multicultural Affairs; English, history and mathematics departments; Black Students Association; Kappa Mu Epsilon chapter; College of Arts and Sciences Diversity Advisory Committee; provost's office; Colleges Against Cancer chapter; Latin American studies program; Latin American Studies Club; Center for International Education; Latin American Sustainability, Education and Development student group; and Student Organization of Latinas/os.

For more information about the UW-Eau Claire bone marrow donor registry drive, visit the UW-Eau Claire Staff and Faculty for Peace and Justice Web site or contact Sen at 715-836-2732 or sena@uwec.edu. Visit the National Marrow Donor Program Web site for more information about the program.

-30-

NW/JP

Back to:
Current year's news releases

All news releases
News and information home

 

Excellence. Our Measure. Our Motto. Our Goal.