UConn Health Center Students Hoping to Help Find the Match

A trio of first-year medical students at the Farmington health center is holding a bone marrow registration drive today.


Three first-year medical students have organized a bone marrow donor registration drive at the , scheduled for today, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., in the Food Court.

It’s the second such event orchestrated by Kelsey Sokol, Liza Karamessinis and Sahar Barfchin in seven months.

“Our first bone marrow drive back in November was organized not only to add new donors to the national registry but also to help find a match for a friend of one of our members, who has leukemia,” Sokol says.

The students founded a group at the known as “Greatest Gift” in an effort to help raise awareness for organ and tissue donation.

“As part of this effort, one of our goals is to hold organ and tissue registration drives to help increase the number of potential donors willing to help the growing list of 114,000 people waiting for a transplant,” Sokol says.

The Carole and Ray Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center is sponsoring Monday’s bone marrow donor registration drive, which the students are running in partnership with the National Marrow Donor Program’s “Be the Match” campaign. All between the ages of 18 and 60 are invited to participate. According to Be the Match, the entire process takes only minutes and involves a simple cheek swab.

“One thing people may not realize is, the matching process depends greatly on race,” Barfchin adds. “We encourage people of all races to come and get swabbed and be part of the registry.”

For more information, call 860-304-2433 or email kesokol@student.uchc.edu.

This story first appeared on UConn Today.

Sas May 14, 2012 at 12:06 PM
I am heading down there today. I hope everyone does the same. You just never know! See you in the food court.
Chris DeFrancesco May 16, 2012 at 04:08 PM
Happy to report, they were able to add 25 more names to the national bone marrow donor registry--Congrats to the students, and thank you to all who participated!


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