By: Malena Khan, Contributing Writer
Students participated in a bone marrow registry drive Tuesday, Sept. 15, in the University Union in support of a Towson student currently battling leukemia.
Sophomore Jillian Procope was diagnosed with leukemia in the spring. She has since entered her third round of chemotherapy at Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Procope’s sorority, Phi Mu, teamed up with the Black Student Union, the Honors College, Actors Anonymous and Be the Match, a program that helps to provide bone marrow transplants, to host a bone marrow registry drive and help others diagnosed with leukemia.
“The reason why we’re doing this is because Jillian is at Hopkins and needs a bone marrow transplant,” Phi Mu member Taylor Burfeind said. “We really want to help save the lives of people who are in the same position as Jillian.”
Students who attended the bone marrow drive filled out paperwork and got their mouths swabbed to see if they were a match for any patients in need of a transplant.
According the Be the Match’s website, if someone is Caucasian, the likelihood of them finding a match is 97 percent, based on adult matches. For African Americans, the likelihood is 76 percent. Jillian is biracial, so the likelihood of her finding a match is lower.
Procope’s younger brother is half-matched with her for a transplant.
“Jillian’s mom said the worst thing that any parent can be told is that your child can’t be matched because she is half black,” Burfeind said. “Cancer doesn’t discriminate, so why should finding a match?”
Students interested in Procope’s cause who missed the bone marrow drive can donate or contribute to care packages for Procope. Donated goods should be dropped off in Stephens Hall, Room 302, or Douglass House, Room 135, or by appointment before Oct. 1.
To sign up for the registry, visit bethematch.org. Doctors frequently request donors that are between 18-44 years old, according to the organization’s website.