Athens, Ga. – Be the Match at UGA, a registered student organization at the University of Georgia, will sponsor a bone marrow drive called “Marrow-thon” on March 28 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Tate Student Center. The drive is part of a larger community effort to find a suitable donor for Kajal Patel, a 12-year-old Athens Academy student who is fighting a rare immune disorder and needs a life-saving marrow transplant.
The bone marrow test consists of giving a mouth swab, and the marrow donation process for a viable match is as simple as giving blood. Students and community members hope to conduct at least 2,400 bone marrow tests in a 24-hour period, enough to beat a Guinness World Record currently held by Ohio State University.
Doctors say one in 20,000 people is a suitable donor for Patel. Her classmates at Athens Academy are spearheading an effort to distribute 20,000 donor test kits nationwide, and they have launched a Facebook page to rally potential donors.
Be the Match at UGA works closely with the National Marrow Donor Program to raise awareness and recruit people to a national donor registry. The organization is a member of Volunteer UGA, a community of registered student organizations dedicated to encouraging, shaping and supporting a culture of service within the UGA and Athens-Clarke County communities.
For more information about the marrow drive, see www.facebook.com/beaheroforkajal. To learn more about Volunteer UGA, call 706/583-0830 or see http://cls.uga.edu.
The Center for Leadership and Service is a unit within UGA’s Division of Student Affairs.