The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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One step away
June 8, 2024

Carlie’s Angels raising awareness one donor at a time

Photo by Photo by Jesse Everett

Sophomore Page Coleman, freshmen Miranda Dickson and Maddie MacArthur and sophomore Lizzie Priest hold the Charlie’s Angel banner outside of the MSC.

A group of Texas A&M students are rallying together in honor of Carlie Aguilar, finance sophomore, who was recently diagnosed with leukemia for the second time.
Carlie’s Angels is hosting a bone marrow drive at the Pi Beta Phi house on April 19 from 1-5 p.m. Attendees will have the opportunity to join the bone marrow registry, write letters to Aguilar and participate in games. The group is also holding a blood drive at Baylor Scott and White on April 18 from 10 a.m to 4 p.m.
Opportunities to join the bone marrow registry are also available through Carlie’s Angels traveling drive, which visits organizations interested in becoming donors.
Ashlyn Pedersen, telecommunication media studies junior, came up with the name “Carlie’s Angels.” Pedersen, who is president of Collegiate Panhellenic Council and good friend of Aguilar, said she wanted Aguilar’s permission before using her name.
“We didn’t want to let everyone know if she wasn’t okay with it, but she was really supportive,” Pedersen said. “Her biggest wish was to raise awareness for bone marrow registry and blood drives. She’s fine with connecting herself to it if it helps a bigger cause.”
According to Pedersen, a bone marrow match is found in the sequence of genes in an individual’s bone marrow. It is important to the group others find a match because of how difficult it is to find exact sequencing.
“You have to find the exact match,” Pedersen said. “Your parents or siblings are the best bet to being a match, but they often won’t be. It’s like finding your genetic twin in a complete stranger.”
Aguilar, who recently found a bone marrow match, said finding a donor should not be added to the list of worries for those going through bone marrow transplants.
“No one going through what I’m going through should have to hear that there’s not a match out there for them,” Aguilar said. “There are family options and there are other ways to get around it, but to be able to have access to a 10/10 match right off the bat and not having to worry about it is something that is important to me.”
Michael Boltie, Supply chain management sophomore and friend of Aguilar, said he had not heard of bone marrow donations before Carlie’s Angels was formed. According to Boltie, people are willing to help but do not know how.
“After finding out that Carlie had leukemia, it was really difficult,” Boltie said. “If I had known there was an opportunity to help people who are going through things like that, I would have done it a lot sooner.”
Aguilar, who was first diagnosed with leukemia in high school, said she wants those joining the registry to understand the impact they have on saving someone’s life.
“That’s something that my family and I are very passionate about,” Aguilar said. “The first time that I was diagnosed, we pushed blood and platelet donations in my hometown. To be able to have the same thing, but this time with bone marrow registration, we were all for it.”
Both Boltie and Pedersen said they want the event to focus on informing others on what the bone marrow registry is rather than pushing people to become donors.
“There will definitely be more things to do than just join the registry,” Pedersen said. “We want it to be two things: a place you can join the registry and help people like Carlie, and somewhere you can celebrate Carlie and rally around her. Hopefully we can accomplish both.”
Boltie said there is a deeper reason so many are wanting to help Aguilar.
“Carlie is the kindest human being I’ve ever met in my entire life,” Boltie said. “No one has changed my life more than her. Everyone wants to get involved because if you meet her, you know she’d do the exact same thing for you.”

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