Bone marrow drive a first for Curtin

LtoR: Corina Young (Forrestfield, Volunteer), Gill Newstead (Support Service Coordinator Leukaemia Foundation), Alyce De Biasi (Volunteer, Padbury)
LtoR: Corina Young (Forrestfield, Volunteer), Gill Newstead (Support Service Coordinator Leukaemia Foundation), Alyce De Biasi (Volunteer, Padbury)

After running bone marrow drives at several other university campuses, Julie Young brought one to Curtin for the first time on May 20, with 39 people registering to donate, including performing arts students and several staff members.

She said supporters were often surprised at how simple the process was these days.

‘It can take 10 to 15 minutes from the time people come in, and if they’ve got a class, they can go to the front of the line,’ she said.

‘The main fear people have is how it was done in the past; it was to do with people’s bones, they went into the hip bone.

‘But these days it’s done through a special machine, where it’s just about taking stem cells out of their blood.’

Ms Young has run drives at several Perth universities in the past, and said she first took an interest in bone marrow donations through a family connection.

‘My eldest daughter has a best friend who was looking for a bone marrow match over Christmas and the New Year,’ she said. ‘And I realised the importance of people finding the right match from a good pool of donations.’

Curtin participants were provided with vouchers from Waterford Plaza Coles so they could enjoy a healthy snack after having their blood taken.