New Service Group is Donating Hope

Freshman Park Scholars focus on saving lives, one bone marrow donor at a time.

Scott Boone, Julia Cavanaugh, Ellen Crowell, Dane Emmerling and Amy West are fast movers. After developing the idea last semester, the freshman Park Scholars are behind one of NC State’s newest service groups, Donate Hope. And they’re already making a difference.

On April 15, the group teamed with another group—Project Life, out of Davidson College—to hold NC State’s first bone marrow typing drive. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., 150 new potential donors were typed in the Bragaw Activity Room.

The typing process is a simple procedure that takes 30-45 minutes and is similar to donating blood. American Red Cross workers take a vial of blood equivalent to two tablespoons from the volunteer, which is then sent off to be typed. Donors are entered into the bone marrow registry in case of a match.

When an individual needs a transplant, doctors search the registry, and then contact potential donors to request a sample of bone marrow. Individuals on the registry are not required to donate once contacted, even if they are a match.

The costs of typing bone marrow are usually around $65 per person. Through fundraising, both groups were able to cover the cost for more than 150 procedures and donors were typed for free.

Donate Hope was one of ten service initiatives proposed in this year’s Park Scholarships first-year leadership course. Its purpose is to spread information about bone marrow transplants and to help add names to the donor rolls.