Swabs Fill University Campus
In the summer of 2009, Tulane University pre-med student Jillian Goldberg became close with a child who had recently undergone a bone marrow transplant. “I watched him go from death’s doorstep to a normal kid,” she said. After seeing the transformation, Jillian became determined to help other patients in need and decided to run bone marrow recruitment drives through Tulane’s Jewish Leaders program, an initiative of Tulane Hillel.
Tulane University, located in New Orleans, LA is no stranger to hosting bone marrow drives. Last year, approximately 100 student volunteers set campus-wide stations to swab cheeks and save lives. The first step to joining the bone marrow registry involves swabbing the inside of the cheek with four cotton swabs - two for the lower and two for the upper quadrants of each cheek.
2011 marks the University’s second year of swabbing potential bone marrow donors for the Gift of Life registry, thanks to Goldberg’s efforts. The bone marrow drive was held the week of February 14th and was a huge success, resulting in over 450 students and faculty volunteering to be entered into the worldwide bone marrow registry. This year, Goldberg enlisted the help of the Office of Multicultural Affairs and the Greek Community in order to reach more students. Their efforts were also supported by the Dean of the Medical School, who spoke about the importance of joining the bone marrow registry.
Over the course of two years, Tulane has registered hundreds of students, educators, parents and New Orleans residents for the Gift of Life Bone Marrow Registry. One of the registrant’s from the 2010 drive has already been identified as a match to a patient in need of a transplant.
Through the hard work and dedication of all who were involved with Tulane’s drive, lives will be saved. “This makes everything worth it, this is actually changing lives,” said Goldberg.