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Links drive home point about bone marrow need

bonemarrow 600The River City (TN) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated recently put the spotlight on transplant donations at The LeMoyne Owen College. Students and the community at large turned out for The River City (TN) Chapter's "Be The Match" Bone Marrow Drive held on the front lawn of Memphis' only HBCU.

More than 100 people attended the community event (April 12th) and 41 signed up to be tested as possible matches for people needing an organ, tissue or blood donor. Radio station KJMS V101.1 provided live remote coverage and encouraged listeners to join in the event.

With African Americans having a greater than average need for transplants, the "Be The Match" Bone Marrow Drive was the perfect opportunity to reach a large segment of the community and student population.

DSC 0501LeMoyne freshman DeMarcus Little signed up for the registry, which he said proved to be very easy with a simple swab of the cheek of his mouth.

"I had a friend who needed to have a bone marrow transplant but couldn't actually get one. I thought I would come out here and register and actually help other people who may need that transplant," said Little.

Carla Stotts-Hills, president of The River City (TN) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, said there is a great need for donors in the African-American community.

"It is important for us to consider organ donation and talk to our families because similar genetics can lead to more successful transplants," says Stotts-Hills. "By registering African-Americans here on the campus of LeMoyne Owen College, we have a chance to genetically be matched."

In addition to donor testing, the Sickle Cell Foundation also conducted Sickle Cell screenings during the drive. The American Red Cross distributed blood drive information.

Awards were given to the Greek Letter organizations with the most participants at the "Be The Match" Bone Marrow Drive. Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated tied for first place. Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated won 2nd place.

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