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Bone Marrow Drive a Huge Success

From Scott Strong (BBB and Biology Club advisor) and Susan Whittemore (Biology Senior Seminar Instructor): As members of the Keene State College community for more than a decade, we had no doubt that the bone marrow registration drive held last week, in support of Dr. Hanna Kolodziejski’s (Biology] battle with leukemia, would be a success. Keene State has a wonderful tradition of rallying behind worthy causes, especially when a member of our KSC family is in need. We are overjoyed to report that tradition stands stronger than ever!

Chris Mulcahy, the National Marrow Donor Program representative, told us from the start that 40 registrants would be considered a successful drive. Members of the Biology Senior Seminar class, the Biology Honor Society (BBB), and Biology Club decided that number wasn’t ambitious enough and proceeded to set their goal at 160 registrants.

On October 30, between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., we added 195 individuals to the National Marrow Donor Program. Not only did we break our own goal, but Chris informed us that we more than doubled the number of registrants of any of the college drives he has overseen in the New England region. He was simply overwhelmed.

It is noteworthy that our students made a difference not just by setting a record for the number of registrants, but by the manner in which they recruited participants. Jill Gormley, a junior Biology major, came up with the idea of using Facebook to notify students about the drive. Chris was so impressed with this novel advertising approach that he plans to use it as a case study for the national organization.

Also, we were most fortunate to have Hanna and her husband join us at the beginning of the drive. Although Hanna could only stay for a short time, because she was headed to Dana Farber for her next round of treatment, we are quite certain her spirit was lifted at the sight of the overwhelming and heartfelt response by students, faculty, and staff. It was truly an emotional day for all involved.

Without funding from Andy Robinson, SAC, and a Pepsi Partnership Grant, we would have been unable to run this event. To all the students, faculty, staff and members of the Keene community who supported this event financially or by becoming a registrant, please accept our most sincere gratitude. We may very well have saved someone’s life last Thursday!

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