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“Get Swabbed” at bone marrow donation drive

While on co-​​op in Wash­ington, D.C., last spring, North­eastern Uni­ver­sity senior Shana Eatman was deeply moved to dis­cover that her room­mate was a bone marrow match for an 8-​​year-​​old girl with leukemia.

Today, Eatman is putting that inspi­ra­tion into action. She is vice pres­i­dent of the North­eastern Uni­ver­sity Mul­ti­cul­tural Orga­ni­za­tion (NU MIX), a stu­dent group cospon­soring  “Get Swabbed! Save A Life: Bone Marrow Donor Drive” today, Nov. 8, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Curry Stu­dent Center. The process, which is pain free and involves donors get­ting their cheeks swabbed, takes about 10 minutes.

“I just want to bring more aware­ness to this whole issue, because there was a time when I didn’t know any­thing about bone marrow dona­tion and how it can poten­tially save lives,” Eatman said.

The drive — which is also cospon­sored by Col­leges Against Cancer, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Kappa Sigma, Latin Amer­ican Stu­dent Orga­ni­za­tion and the North­eastern Rugby Team — will be held in the Curry Stu­dent Center Ball­room. The groups have part­nered with the national bone marrow donor center, DKMS America, to hold the drive.

NU MIX works to sup­port the university’s mul­ti­cul­tural com­mu­nity. Noting that people of color make up only 12 per­cent of the 7 mil­lion poten­tial Amer­ican donors, Eatman said that her group is par­tic­u­larly inter­ested in spreading the word about the drive to minority and mul­ti­ethnic North­eastern students.

According to the National Marrow Donor Pro­gram, more than 10,000 patients are diag­nosed each year with life-​​threatening dis­eases that a marrow or cord blood trans­plant may help cure. About 70 per­cent of those in need of a trans­plant don’t have a matching donor within the family.

Eatman said her co-​​op with the National Asso­ci­a­tion of States United for Aging and Dis­abil­i­ties, a Washington-​​based health-​​care policy non­profit, fos­tered her interest in public health.

The inter­na­tional affairs major who is pur­suing minors in anthro­pology, polit­ical sci­ence and envi­ron­mental sci­ences, said her North­eastern edu­ca­tion has pro­vided her with an inter­dis­ci­pli­nary and global view of public policy and health.

“All of this will help me gauge what career I want to pursue in the future,” she said.

– by Greg St. Martin


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