On Wednesday, March 24, Idaho State University Honors College students will honor the wishes of their late fellow student by helping to increase the pool of potential blood stem cell and bone marrow donors.
Elyse Prow, an Honors College and education student at Idaho State University, passed away from t-cell lymphoma. In lieu of flowers, the Prow family asked that donations be made to the Be the Match Foundation, an organization dedicated to connecting potential donors with people in need.
As he was learning about the program, organizer Kaden Lee said he saw a huge potential opportunity to help.
“I was struck by how small the pool is, and how large the need is,” Lee said.
On Wednesday, Lee and his fellow Honors program students will be registering potential donors from 3-6 p.m. in the Rendezvous Center on the Idaho State campus. Registrants must be in good health, ages 18-44 and be willing to donate to patients in need.
Lee says there are many misconceptions about donation- one of the most common being that it is painful.
“Most people think it involves drilling into the bone. The reality is most blood stem cells are able to be collected through normal IV much like a blood or blood plasma donation,” Lee said.
Each year, about 14,000 people need transplants from donors outside their family. Through Wednesday’s event, Lee hopes to make a difference in the lives of people like Prow.
“We always talk about being an Honors family and an Idaho State family. We really believe that, and we want to foster that,” Lee said. “We want to honor her and to make a difference.”