United Tribes News

Donors registered at United Tribes

By Suzanne Shields, RN, UTTC Student Health Center Director
23 March 2009

BISMARCK (UTN) - The United Tribes Student Health Center conducted a registry for the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) March 4 at the Lewis Goodhouse Wellness Center on the UTTC campus.

      Fifty new donors were registered during a day-long effort that was staffed by Student Health Center staff: Director Suzanne Shields, RN; Lucie Gall, LPN; Charmelle Fuchs, LPN; and Andi Gladson, a trained volunteer who works as a graphic designer at the campus print shop, Arrow Graphics.

UTTC Student Health Center Nurse Charmelle Fuchs, LPN, describes the National Marrow Donor Program to a participant during a registry campaign on March 4 at United Tribes Technical College. United Tribes News photo Dennis J. Neumann

      The donor registry steps were simple. Participants received information about the national program, provided a brief health assessment, and completed a donor form.

      Four separate swabs were collected from the cheek area inside the mouth. And information was provided about how individuals are asked to participate if they become a type match. Participants also received a donor NMDP identification card for being listed as a volunteer donor.

      It was a good learning experience for everyone involved.

      More than 6,000 men, women and children search the National Marrow Donor Registry daily for a life saving match. Some have Leukemia, lymphoma and other life threatening diseases that can be treated by a bone marrow transplant.

      Race and ethnicity matter in tissue matches because tissue types are inherited. Patients are more likely to match someone from their own race or ethnicity.

      Although donors of any ethnic background were registered, the United Tribes effort was aimed at increasing the number of American Indians in the registry.

      The UTTC drive was directed by: Kevin Meyer, District Manager, NMDP Central Region Recruitment, East Lansing, MI; Pastor Gary Heaton, Med Center One; and Pastor Rebecca Aardahl, Heart River Lutheran Church, Mandan, ND.

      Morning and afternoon snacks and beverages were offered and door prizes awarded to the following participants: Julie Cain (UTTC coffee mug); Jackie Benson (UTTC mouse pad); Opal Bear Ground (picture); Jessica Martinez (UTTC t-shirt); Donna Ruiz (book); Michael Hernandez (Standing Rock Land Tenure DVD); Christy Garreaux (UTTC sweatshirt); Sierra Two Bulls (UTTC t-shirt); Steve Fischer (UTTC mouse pad); Emanuel Red Bear (UTTC t-shirt); Stacey Grant (UTTC mouse pad); Leah Hamann (painting); Hope White Bear (UTTC t-shirt); and Denise Fourhorn (UTTC t-shirt).

      This marrow donor drive will help keep the circle of life strong by raising awareness and educating the United Tribes campus community about the need for more donors of American Indian heritage.

       Thank you to all of the students, staff, faculty, and off campus visitors who arranged their busy schedules to donate their time, money and tissue to provide hope to those in need. The creator has greatly blessed them.


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