Be The Match ‘strikes’ on campus

Waco Freshman Autumn Knowles swabs her cheek as part of the Be The Match bone marrow donor process. Jessica Hubble | Multimedia Editor

By Rider Farris | Reporter

Interfraternity Council fraternity Delta Tau Delta partnered with Panhellenic Council sorority Zeta Tau Alpha to host the Be The Match bone marrow drive on Fountain Mall Tuesday and Wednesday. Be The Match is a bone marrow registry operated by the National Marrow Donor Program.

Huntsville junior Taylor Ernst, Delt’s philanthropy chair, said the event was held to raise awareness for various types of blood cancers and terminal illnesses as well as increase the pool of potential Be The Match donors.

“The Delts kind of did it at Texas A&M, so we started doing it and then we actually broke their record last year,” Ernst said. “Last year we got 212 [registrants] and that broke the fraternity record, and so we’re trying to do it again this year.”

Students interested in becoming a part of the Be The Match bone marrow registry were able to fill out some paperwork and give a sample swab from their mouth. The sample would then be sent off to a lab for analysis and testing and then compared patients that are seeking matches. If a match was found, the student would be contacted for a potential transfusion.

“This is just kind of one of those causes we just kind of fell in love with,” Ernst said.

This is the second year this event has been held. Baylor’s Delt chapter was inspired to continue the event to help a nine-year old girl named Gabi find a bone marrow donor. Gabi is suffering from Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia and does not currently have a match in her family or on the Be The Match registry.

This year, however, Delt partnered with Zeta to hold the event. Delt and Zeta have worked together in the past on projects, including on the homecoming parade float, and ran the table together over the duration of the drive.

“Zeta has a great reputation for just being really strong in philanthropy,” Ernst said. “Zeta has just been absolutely killing it. They are really amazing.”

Upper Saddle River junior Elena Pappas, Zeta Director of Philanthropy, said her organization was excited to work with Delt on this project. She said partnering with Delt enabled her organization to branch out and help other philanthropies that Zeta does not get to experience often. She also said the experience was very positive.

“We’ve got a lot of campus involvement,” Pappas said. “Baylor has really been so receptive and so great. I’m excited to see how it ends up.”

Ernst said it looks like Delt and Zeta will be able to break last year’s registry number. But, he said the event is more about finding matches than it is about getting high turnout numbers.

“It’s cool to see a campus and community come together for the greater good,” Ernst said. “It’s all around a great reminder that there is so much more good in the world. It’s cool to sit back and see.”