‘Be The Match’ bone marrow registry drive set for April 10 at Rowan College at Burlington County

Burlington County Freeholder Linda Hughes and RCBC student-athletes are teaming up with Be The Match to host the marrow registry drive.

Burlington County Freeholder Linda Hughes and Rowan College at Burlington County student-athletes are teaming up with the Be The Match organization, operated by the National Marrow Donor Program, to host a marrow registry drive at the college’s Student Success Center in room 129 on Tuesday, April 10 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

According to the college, thousands of patients with blood cancers, such as leukemia or other diseases like sickle cell anemia, need a marrow transplant to survive, and 70 percent of patients who need a marrow transplant do not have a fully matched donor in their family.

“Helping others is something that’s ingrained in me and is part of the reason why I’m in public service,” said Hughes, who last year answered a plea for help by donating her kidney. “I’m happy to help raise awareness of the need for marrow and the Be The Match Registry that helps patients get the life-saving transplant they need.”

According to the college, there are 14,000 patients each year whose only hope for a cure is a transplant from someone outside their family.

“This was the perfect public service project for our student-athletes who are committed to working as a team, working in the community and leading healthy lifestyles,” RCBC Athletic Director Heather Conger said. “We are looking forward to hosting our first Be The Match Registry drive in our new Student Success Center and educating the community on the impact that they can have in someone’s life by joining the registry.”

Hughes is on Be The Match registry, and encourages others to join who are committed to helping save a life.

Anyone who meets the health guidelines and is between 18 and 44 years old will be invited to join the registry. A cheek swab taken at the drive will be used to add the donor’s tissue type to the registry. The actual marrow donation could be surgical or non-surgical depending on the needs of the donor recipient.

For more information, visit bethematch.org or stop by RCBC’s on April 10.