University of Kentucky pharmacy students organized a bone marrow drive on campus Friday. In addition to adding new names to the registry, the drive also aimed to clear up some common misconceptions about the donation process. "We've been at it since about 8 o'clock and we've probably added 45 to 50 people already," says Kenneth Kennedy, a pharmacy resident is helping oversee the Be the Match Bone Marrow Drive. He says part of the challenge is updating potential donors on how the donation process has evolved.
When many people hear the words “bone marrow donation,” the first things that come to mind are a large needle and no small amount of pain. Much of that has changed.
"People get some injections under their skin for five days, seven days. Then they're hooked up to an apheresis machine, which draws their blood out and collects the cells it needs to collect," he says.
It’s called peripheral collection and it’s now used in about 75 percent of bone marrow donations. Kennedy says the discomfort is minimal and the whole procedure much less invasive. That’s welcome news to new donor Monica Choe, who is just finishing up her paperwork.
"I know that there's a newer method, so that's a little more comforting. I'm not a big fan of needles, but there's a greater cause," she says.
A concert featuring Ryan Hamner, musician and four time Hodgkins Lymphoma survivor, is scheduled for Friday at 7:30 at Tin Roof. More information about joining the bone marrow registry can be found at marrow.org.