BeTheMatch swabs cheeks to save lives and help cure cancer

William Fath

BeTheMatch Registry swabbed cheeks in hopes of adding individuals to the National Bone Marrow Registry on Thursday, April 9 in Sage Hall and Reeve Memorial Union. Thursday, April 9 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Sage Hall and from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. in Reeve, BeTheMatch Registry will be holding a drive in hopes of adding individuals to the National Bone Marrow Registry. Community Engagement Representative Kelli Vander Wielen said this event is an opportunity to help spread awareness about the organization and the cause. “We would also like to educate people about [BeTheMatch] and the many opportunities they have to find a cure for blood cancer,” Wielen said. President of UW Oshkosh’s BeTheMatch Molly Wirz echoed these sentiments when it came to discussing the overall goal of the drive. “Obviously we want as many people as possible to register to help save a life, but one thing that is going to be important is making sure people are committed and aware,” Wirz said. Wirz said she wanted to be able to eliminate as many myths as possible when it came to education. “The biggest [myth] that Hollywood has exaggerated is the pain that accompanies donating bone marrow,” Wirz said. The event and registration will be organized by stations, according to Wirz “There will be four stations in Reeve and Sage, [and] there will also be posters explaining what each station is,” Wirz said. The process involved is simple and Wirz said there will be more than enough people at the station available to help if needed. “We were able to get a lot of volunteers,” Wirz said. “We are also lucky enough to have a lot of football players available to help with the drive.” Oshkosh freshman Michaela Schmidt said she is volunteering for the first time for the drive. “I am always looking for more ways that I can get involved,” Schmidt said. “When I saw this opportunity I was immediately interested.” Schmidt said she was excited at the idea she could help someone save lives in more than one way. “I am so excited that I am able to help facilitate people to sign up, while at the same time signing up for the registry myself,” Schmidt said. Wirz said on top of the pressure of her first drive as president, she is also making the drive open in two locations. “Our idea is that we are going to be able to get more people this way by opening it up to the two buildings with the most foot traffic,” Wirz said. Wirz said she has high expectations for the turnout of this drive. “The number that we discussed in hopes of new registers is approximately 200 to 250, hopefully more though,” Wirz said. Both Wielen and Wirz said they were adamant that this cause is time worthy. “Very few things in your life allow you to legitimately save someone’s life,” Wirz said. “Just from swabbing your cheek, you could be the cure that saves someone’s life.”