Bone marrow registration drive to be held on Yale campus

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)– In the long history of Yale, a tradition only 8 years old is not very impressive. It might not be that long but this tradition has already saved 30 lives.

This is going on on campus for most of the day, and they want you to be one of hundreds of people coming down and doing a very simple thing that could potentially save someone’s life.

Mandi Schwartz was a Yale hockey player who developed leukemia. She and her teammates started the first bone marrow registration drive looking for a match for her. That was 2009. She passed away in 2011, and Yale’s sports teams still carry on the tradition. Her parents are back for the first time since 2009. They met with several of the teams Tuesday to thank them for their work.

We were there as they spoke to the football team after morning practice. These hockey parents from a tiny town in Saskatchewan are deeply touched that their daughter’s legacy lives on at Yale.

“The part I love is that lives are going to be saved. Looking at a donor and recipient meet someday, having that second chance at life that they normally would not get, that’s a feeling that you can’t even put into words,” said Rick Schwartz, Mandi’s father.

More than 5,000 people have registered over the years, and 30 have been matched with patients in need.

The registration is so easy. You swab the inside of your cheek with a q-tip and fill out some forms. It only takes a few minutes. If you do turn out to be a match, you got for a few more blood tests.

Then donating bone marrow takes about 4 hours with a needle in your arm. When it’s over you have saved someone’s life. You need to be 18-44 years old, and it’s for everyone, not just Yale students and staff.

The registration drive is going on at the Yale Commons and over at Old Campus from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday.

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