On Campus

SU student raises cancer awareness during World Marrow Donor Day

More than 100 campuses across the country, including Syracuse University, participated in the first ever World Marrow Donor Day on Saturday.

Rachel Brenner, a junior public relations major, was in charge of the World Marrow Donor Day event at SU, which was held in Flanagan Gym on Saturday. The goal of the event was to get as many people as possible to swab their mouths to potentially save lives, which are then put into an international registry.

“It is a very personal event for me because of my dad dying of cancer,” Brenner said.

Brenner is part of a program called the Gift of Life Campus Ambassadors, which has 105 college representatives nationwide. The organization aims to raise awareness about World Marrow Donor Day.

Gift of Life is an international bone marrow registry that has helped to facilitate more than 2,900 transplants and is also a part of World Marrow Donor Association, according to a press release.

Brenner said she was very excited about the event and said she plans on having more drives on campus to help spread awareness and try to save lives. The date of the next drive should be in early October.

“It doesn’t hurt at all getting swabbed,” Brenner said. “And it only takes one person to be involved to save and change someone’s life.”

Brenner added that if you are chosen to donate bone marrow afterwards, you are given the choice to meet the person you donated to a year afterward.

“It is one of those moments that makes it such a wonderful thing,” Brenner said.

Nicholas Hudson, an employee with Gift of Life, said Brenner’s involvement has come “full circle” since she was involved with Gift of Life as a freshman and now as a junior as the campus ambassador.

“Seventy percent of the time, bone marrow donors are going to be random and with having these events, it increases the chances of finding donors for more people,” Hudson said.


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