A cheek swab may be all it takes to save the life of an internationally recognized musician as well as many other people throughout the world. University students participated in a blood marrow donor drive on behalf of renowned jazz saxophonist, Michael Brecker, who has been diagnosed with Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS), a bone marrow disorder in which certain blood cells are under-produced. The Gift of Life Foundation joined with the University's Hillel Jewish Student Union to host the drive Monday in Newcomb Hall.
In addition to MDS, which is a rather uncommon disorder diagnosed in approximately 20,000 Americans each year, the drive also benefited patients with leukemia, lymphoma and other blood-related cancers and diseases. By giving a buccal swab (a Q-tip swab in the cheek), donors are entered in the National Bone Marrow Donor Registry, which matches the tissue types of patients with those of donors. If a match is found, the transplant will occur either through a blood transfusion or a direct stem cell transplant.
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