Bid to boost bone marrow donations

Alyce De Biasi, Laura Oakes and Julie Young promote the upcoming bone marrow drive at ECU Joondalup.
Alyce De Biasi, Laura Oakes and Julie Young promote the upcoming bone marrow drive at ECU Joondalup.

People aged 18 to 45 in good health are asked to visit the campus between 10am and 1pm, fill out a form, and have a blood sample taken by the bone marrow register nurses.

‘We are encouraging people to contact us beforehand to select a time to come to avoid a long wait,’ Ms Young said.

‘Several Joondalup retailers have offered to help with providing food for the students who come on the day.’

Ms Young said she organised the drive because her daughter is best friends with Lauren Menegola, a 23-year-old with acute myeloid leukaemia who is desperately looking for a matching bone marrow donor to save her life.

‘Because of the difficulty Lauren faced in finding a perfect match, it became obvious something needed to change with this,’ she said.

‘There are only 175,000 Australians on the bone marrow register because most people think that giving bone marrow is a very painful procedure.

‘This may have been the case in the past, but these days, all people are required to do is sit for a few hours while the stem cells are extracted from your blood through a special machine ” it is very similar to giving blood.’

She said she hoped this drive would be the first of many held at Perth university campuses.

‘I encourage people to take part as you can make a difference to people all over the world as the register is global,’ Ms Young said. ‘Lauren was so brave in telling her story, to not just help herself but for everyone else ” perfect bone marrow match really can save lives.’

For more information or to book a time, contact Julie on jry63@hotmail.com.