Student Government Association Service Project Embraces A Good Cause
Mississippi College student leaders are connecting with Be The Match to help a wonderful organization hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The MC senior project on the Clinton campus is a perfect fit with the Christian university’s deep commitment to community service spanning generations.
The SGA vice president the past two years, senior Damon Wright, joins classmates are on board with the drive to assist a global leader in bone marrow transplants.
“We have been diligently working with Be The Match to help them grow and diversify their registry in hopes that we, and all of Mississippi College, can play a part in saving lives,” says Damon, an MC Choctaws football player.
After researching the non-profit, he realized the worldwide health crisis (with some 3 million lives lost) severely impacted the group. “I knew this would be a great opportunity for a partnership and a great way to show everyone that MC is dedicated to making a change in the lives of many,” the Alabama resident said. “I look forward to seeing the MC community participate in this BTM event.”
MC student Brandon Blair did much of the early work to get the senior service project off the ground in recent months and pitched the idea to Damon Wright. “I was ecstatic to begin working with all of SGA to make it happen,” Wright says.
What is the organization all about? Be The Match leaders seek to connect patients with their donor match for a life-saving marrow or blood stem cell. A bone marrow transplant, also called a blood stem cell transplant or BMT, can treat many diseases. For some diseases, BMT is the only potential cure. There are over 70 diseases that a bone marrow transplant can treat.
The global organization maintains a diverse workforce to help patients get the treatment they need. Part of the National Marrow Donor Program, Be The Match offers many employment opportunities across the USA and beyond.
Blair, 22, came up with the idea of a senior service project after seeing a remarkable 35-second video promoting the organization based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It featured the testimonial of a boy named Thor, who suffers from sickle cell anemia. "I began to read about Thor's story and the excruciating spells of pain he experiences every day,’’ says the Monroe County resident. “For Thor, I read there is no medical cure. In order for Thor to live the life of a healthy child, he needs a blood donor.”
Involved in SGA activities the past three years, Brandon felt led to get involved and lead this community service project.
Founded in 1986, Be The Match operates the only stem cell donation registry in the United States. Joining the registry is as simple as swabbing one’s cheek with a q-tip and mailing the swab in. The process takes five minutes. It is free to join for people between the ages of 18 and 44 and be placed as a potential donor.
Brandon Blair mailed in his swab kit and now is part of the Be the Match registry. “If Jesus could die on the cross for me, how could I ignore the suffering of a child knowing I might hold their only cure?”
For a couple of days in April on the Clinton campus, SGA leaders hope to see MC family members join the Be The Match cause and serve people battling life-threatening diseases.
For additional information, go to the organization’s website at BeTheMatch.org.mx or phone 1(800) MARROW-2 for more details.