Faith, Lauren and Abbie, members of Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) at St. Bonaventure, are three young women with a mission. SIFE is an international non-profit organization that focuses on turning college-aged students into leaders in business while also working to better the community. They, along with the rest of the SIFE chapter at St. Bonaventure, have committed to bettering their community; in addition to developing student teaching programs, business seminars, and rebuilding playgrounds, they are educating their community on the importance of becoming a bone marrow donor and have started actively recruiting students for the registry.

The mission of Gift of Life spoke to the girls in a special way. Abbie has a close friend who was diagnosed with a rare blood disease two years ago, and his life was ultimately saved by a bone marrow transplant. Faith was inspired to join the cause because she saw the enormous impact it had on those who were involved. She did not know much about our organization, but did a search on Twitter and learned about our goal to save lives; Faith shared the page with her friends, and they grew to love the posts. Not long after, they learned of the connection Gift of Life had with the medical division of their SIFE chapter.

Through that connection, Faith and the girls began planning a fundraiser and swabbing event. Their idea was clever: hosting a 24 hour teeter-totter-a-thon. The Teeters for Transplants event would be similar to a bike-a-thon, but with a teeter-totter. Teams of four signed up to take turns on a large teeter-totter for thirty minutes, and each team raised $40 to participate. The event was hosted on the school lawn on April 13th and 14th and was a rousing success! Prospective students for the University were visiting, so they had plenty of interested people stopping by. Overall, the event raised over $1,000 and added many new bone marrow donors to the registry.

Though their hope was to have a successful fundraiser and raise money for Gift of Life, their biggest goal was to develop a tradition at St. Bonaventure and make Teeters for Transplants bigger and better every year to raise awareness for the cause. Though they had some challenges planning the event, it went smoothly and was a great success. Having two students at the University who have had bone marrow transplants made the importance of becoming a donor real to the rest of the student body, especially since the school is small.

Faith said, “In the past, I have met a lot of people who are afraid to join the registry/be a donor because of the pain involved. To me, this is a small feat to overlook when saving a life; however, it certainly comes into play. I feel that by getting people to join the registry, we can show them that the choice to donate is always theirs, but if they were called on to do so they would be more likely to overcome the fear of the situation.”

Faith, Abbie, and Lauren are motivated to keep Gift of Life’s mission alive at their university, and we are very proud of their efforts on our behalf. Currently, there are over 10,000 swab kits waiting to be processed and each kit costs $54. To organize a drive or set up a fundraiser on your college campus, please contact our Recruitment Team.

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