Gateway Technical College students will hold a bone marrow drive open to the public 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Feb. 12 in the student commons, located in the Kenosha Campus Academic Building, 3520-30th Ave.
Potential donors who participate will fill out a questionnaire to determine whether they are eligible to donate, as well as having a cheek swab performed on them. Donors should be between the ages of 18 and 44 and need to bring a photo ID. Light snacks and refreshments will be served.
Gateway student Jamy Koepke, who is overseeing the drive, says today’s methods of gathering bone marrow is less invasive than in the past and is similar to donating plasma.
Koepke is overseeing the effort as part of her work with the National Society of Leadership and Success with the college, which is sponsoring the drive. She was prompted to initiate the drive – and change her first option of holding an organ donor request drive – after watching a small boy benefit from having a bone marrow transplant last year.
I want to help people, and this provides you with the opportunity to help someone – and know they benefit, while you are still living,” says Koepke. “With the organ donor effort, you know people will benefit once you’ve passed away. This allows you to know the benefits while you are still alive.”
The Blood Center of Wisconsin has partnered with Gateway on the event. To find out more about registering and becoming a bone marrow donor, visit www.bcw.edu/marrow.