AUSTIN — “Once our science students learned about the horrifyingly large health disparity in those donor registry stats, they were mobilized to act!” Dr. Amanda Masino said. Masino serves as Huston-Tillotson’s associate professor of biology and director of STEM Research Scholars. Recently, the students met with representatives of Gift of Life at Huston-Tillotson to find out if they are potential matches for individuals in need of bone marrow.
At the event filled with Huston-Tillotson student volunteers, students underwent swabbing to determine eligibility to be on the donor list. According to Gift of Life representatives, Judy Waxman and Etta Moore, such donor events typically yield about 15 new donors. But at Huston-Tillotson, 72 students were added to the list as eligible donors.
“You and your volunteers were amazing. What a huge success – wow! 72 swabs mean 72 more chances for a match to be made,” Waxman said. Moore added, “The more individuals on the registry, the greater the opportunity to save a life.”
The even more great news was that students who participated are now trained to volunteer at future bone marrow donor events.
“72 new potential bone marrow donors is an amazing success for our first event. I think this amazing result comes down to a team approach and to our students being incredibly effective at spreading the message to their peers,” Masino said.