Delta Tau Delta to host bone marrow drive

Students have the opportunity to donate blood or bone marrow to the Be A Match organization, which has partnered with Delta Tau Delta. Photo credit: Jessica Hubble

By Faith Miletello | Reporter

Be The Match is an organization that provides a bone marrow registry for those in need of blood or bone marrow transfusions. Baylor’s Delta Tau Delta fraternity has partnered with Be The Match to offer students the opportunity to join the registry.

“Be The Match is a national organization. Basically, what you do is show up, get your mouth swabbed, and they put it in a huge registry and then categorize you based on your blood,” said Huntington junior Taylor Ernst, Delta Tau Delta philanthropy chair. “The information will be put in the database and help people who are in need of a blood transfusion.”

Be The Match targets people ages 18 to 44 to join the registry, Be The Match community engagement representative Kelly Baker said. Because of that, the organization has the most success on college campuses, Baker said.

“The patient has a better chance of surviving the transplant with a younger donor,” Baker said. “So doctors love college-age men because there is typically no reason that defers them from giving blood immediately.”

Ernst said Be The Match is the first place doctors go when a match is needed, so it is important to have as many people on Baylor’s campus swab their mouth to be able to possibly save someone’s life.

The Delta Tau Delta chapter at Texas A&M hosted Be The Match in the spring of 2015. They hosted it for a 10-year-old-girl who needed a blood transfusion, and the girl’s blood type match came from a member of the Delta Tau Delta chapter, according to the chapter’s semester newsletter.

“The Delt fraternity at A&M actually had six members from their fraternity alone go on to donate,” Baker said. “But it really depends on if you match a specific patient.”

Baker said the probability of being a donor after joining the registry is 1 in 540, and the success rate from previous transfusions is 69 percent. The organization manages the largest and most diverse marrow registry in the world, according to the Be The Match website.

This is Baylor Delta Tau Delta’s first time to partner with Be The Match. The organization will be on Fountain Mall today from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for people to join the registry.

“It is a 30-second process; you just get your mouth swabbed, they send it off and you could get a call the next day to save someone’s life,” Ernst said.