Springfield Technical Community College’s School of Health and Patient Simulation welcomed students, faculty and staff on April 25 to assist with a “Be the Match” event held in the lobby of Building 20.
The event from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. marked the launch of National Medical Laboratory Professionals Week, which runs April 24-30. The week is a time to celebrate and recognize the profession.
Organized by Carolyn Kozlak and Susan Schneider, professors in Clinical Laboratory Sciences, Be the Match was an opportunity for participants to take a swab of the inside of their mouths and submit the sample, along with their information, for testing and categorizing in a database. Be The Match provides patients access to more than 39 million donors around the world who stand ready to be a life-saving marrow or blood stem cell donor.
“If someone has a blood disorder such as leukemia or other kinds of cancers and is in need of a bone marrow transplant, we can go into the donor marrow library, if you will, and find out if there’s somebody who’s going to be a potential match,” Schneider said in an article posted in the news section of stcc.edu. “And, if a potential match is located, that person would be contacted to see if they’re willing to donate some bone marrow to save someone’s life.”
Be the Match New England encourages people of color to participate to help close equity gaps in the donor bank. Patients are more likely to match donors who share the same ethnic background.
Anyone who was unable to attend in person can order a swab to be delivered to their home. Use this link to order a swab kit if you would like to participate from home.
Kozlak and Schneider said they hope to schedule another Be the Match on campus.
(Pictured in main photo standing from left to right: Professors Susan Schneider and Carolyn Kozlak, MLT students Amanda St. Pierre, Tyler Gay, Marissa Lombardi and Nishi Patel. Seated is Jessica Pacheco, community engagement representative for Be the Match.)