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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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Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
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Being the match

Be+The+Match+is+part+of+the+National+Marrow+Donation+program+which+manages+the+donor+registry.
Photo by Courtesy

Be The Match is part of the National Marrow Donation program which manages the donor registry.

Anna Hubbell remembers the moment that affirmed her decision to become a bone marrow donor. 
“I remember I was walking to class and it was like a Monday, just a terrible day and the lady that was helping me through the process, she called me to tell me that my patient was cancer free,” the animal science senior said. “I got chills. Can you imagine, there’s another human being out there that is walking around alive just because you were uncomfortable for a little bit.”
Hubbell said she was able to register her DNA for Be The Match with a simple pain-free cheek swab. 
“Anytime anyone needs a bone marrow transplant, they go and they look and they see if there is a match in the registry,” Hubbell said. “Not only do they manage the registry but they give financial support to families and people that need bone marrow transplants.”
There are two donation processes. Bone marrow transplants make up 30 percent of donations as the process is more invasive, and peripheral blood stem cell transplants make up the other 70 percent. 
“A bone marrow transplant takes healthy blood forming cells from the donor that are then put in the bloodstream of a blood cancer patient,” Lisley Canales, Be The Match On Campus director of marketing and public relations, said.
Be The Match is part of the National Marrow Donor program, which manages the donor registry and A&M’s Be The Match On Campus, Canales said.
“We hold registry drives to sign people on campus up to be potential donors,” Canales said. “We also have fundraising events to help pay for the costs — it costs $100 to put someone on the registry, but to the person signing up it is free.”
Hubbell said the logistic side of the organization is what people most talk about with questions like, “What is the procedure like?” and, “Does it hurt?” But Hubbell said she focuses on the other person who is going to benefit from the transplant.
“Can you imagine if it was someone you know?” Hubbell said. “Most people are like, ‘I don’t know if I can do it, because I don’t know the person,’ but it shouldn’t matter if you know them or not because you could know them. If it was someone you know, then you would want someone to do that for you.”
Hubbell said some people can be on the registry for years and never get a call because of the low probability of a patient in need matching with someone on the registry. Only One in 300 people are selected as the best possible donor for a patient, and only one in 540 members actually donate, according to bethematch.org. 
Hubbell said she was scared because she had never had surgery before or gone under anesthesia, but her sister helped her through it.
“It was really amazing throughout the whole process, how encouraging everyone was,” Hubbel said. “Even the nurses and the doctors and everyone. I remember, whenever I went in the morning of the procedure, one of the nurses, she looked at me and grabbed my hands, was like ‘Today we’re going to treat you like a king because you are doing a wonderful thing.’”
Hubbell said registering is a commitment even though the organization will not force anyone to donate.
“People have to realize the severity of it,” Hubbel said. “They’re not going to force you to do anything you don’t want to do but at the same time, if you’re going to register, you need to be committed to it because it’s someone’s life on the line.”

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  • Be The Match is part of the National Marrow Donation program which manages the donor registry.

    Photo by Courtesy

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