More Than 600 Volunteer as Bone Marrow Donors in Plymouth; PSU Community Service Project Aims to Save Lives

September 24th, 2013 by blyndes


Bone marrow donor volunteer Jason Phillips, left, swabs his cheek to get a sample at a donor event September 23 in Plymouth. The sample will be genetically typed and registered for a possible match with a person suffering from blood cancer. If a match is found, Phillips would be asked to donate bone marrow to transplant into the ill person.

Plymouth, N.H. – Approximately every four minutes one person in the United States is diagnosed with a blood cancer and an estimated total of 150,000 Americans are expected to be diagnosed with some type of blood cancer in 2013. Plymouth State University’s Student Nursing Association, in partnership with DKMS, a global non-profit organization, teamed up September 23 to enlist bone marrow donor volunteers on the PSU campus and the Plymouth Town Green to help fight these diseases. PSU Nursing Assistant Professor Sandra Gamble said more than 600 students and community residents volunteered to be bone marrow donors.

“It’s a great way to get the whole community involved in potentially saving somebody’s life, in terms of a community service project, you can’t beat something like this,” Gamble said.

Hundreds of PSU students volunteered to be bone marrow donors at this community service event.

Bone marrow is the soft, fatty tissue inside your bones. Stem cells are immature cells in the bone marrow that give rise to all of your blood cells. When someone is diagnosed with a blood cancer, one of their best hopes for survival is receiving a transplant of healthy bone marrow cells. So, by connecting potential donors with those who are suffering from life threatening blood disorders is a critical mission. The testing consists of getting your cheek swabbed with a cotton swab; the swabs are then sent to a lab where they are genetically typed and if they are matched with someone who is dying of a blood-borne cancer, they could end up donating bone marrow which would then be transplanted into the sick person and hopefully save their life. PSU first-year student Jason Phillips of Somersworth, N.H. said he was happy to volunteer.

“Why not? I enjoy helping people out and if I’m a match, I could help save someone’s life.”

There is less than a one percent chance of matching, but every year, lives are saved when a match and successful transplant occurs. Currently there are hundreds of thousands of blood cancer survivors in the U.S. More than a dozen Plymouth State nursing students and faculty participated in the bone marrow donor drive.


In the News

Example Image

PSU awards 2015 Maslakowski Education award to Rose Colby

The 2015 Plymouth State University’s Dennise Maslakowski Education Award was given to Rose Colby of Epping who was chosen because of her commitment to quality, competency-based education. The award was created in 2008 in memory of the late Dennise Maslakowski, PSU’s former Associate Vice President for the College of Graduate Studies. “To receive this honor means a […]

Example Image

Marietta woman chosen as 2015 ACE Fellow

Plymouth State University History Professor Marcia Schmidt Blaine, daughter of Suzanne Schmidt of Marietta and the late Frederick K. Schmidt, has been named an American Council on Education Fellow for the 2015-16 academic year. Blaine is one of 47 individuals selected for the prestigious leadership development program that prepares senior leaders to serve American colleges […]

Example Image

PSU plans archaeological dig at Enfield Shaker Village

PLYMOUTH — Enfield Shaker Village has been described as one of New Hampshire’s most magnificent architectural achievements, and beginning on May 26, it will be the site of a history-making archaeology project. For the first time in its history, an archaeological dig at the Village has been planned as part of a Plymouth State University […]