Save a Life: Our Confirmation Project

By: Mikayla Mancini (Freshman, Ridgewood High School)
delete blood cancer confirmation projectAs part of our preparation for our upcoming confirmation in June, our CCD group was required to do a service project. This project is supposed to benefit others and touch as many people as possible.BloodDonorQuote Choosing a project proved difficult because first we wanted to try and come up with something that hasn’t been already done. Second, there are 13 girls in the group; it was hard to find a time where doing a project could fit into our very busy and different schedules. As the meetings kept going by, we finally came up with an idea: raising awareness about the need for people to join the Bone Marrow Registry. One of our group leaders pointed out an article in People Magazine about Anthony Daniels. Anthony is a 24 year-old Ridgewood NJ High School graduate who was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma. After he was diagnosed, Anthony made it his mission to increase awareness about joining the bone marrow registry. We thought it would be great if we could do the same.
Blood-Donor-2When a person is diagnosed with blood cancer, the best treatment option is to get a bone marrow transplant. Finding a bone marrow donor is a lot different then finding a blood or organ donor because there are a lot more requirements that need to be met to be a match. Only 30% of all patients are able to find a compatible bone marrow donor within their family and 6 out of 10 patients are unable to find a match for their bone marrow transplant. This is what happened in Anthony’s case, no one was a match. Although he has been undergoing other procedures to help treat his lymphoma, nothing is as good as finding a donor match.
Our CCD group thought that being able to find a match for Anthony or others like him, would not only be literally saving a life, but would be a life-changing event for everyone involved. Joining the registry only takes a couple minutes, so with materials from Delete Blood Cancer, we set up a donor drive at Ridgewood, NJs Baseball Parade and Lax Day.  If someone decides they want to join the registry, then the first step is to fill out some basic personal information. This information provides a way for the registry to contact you if you are a match to someone. The next step is to swab the inside of each cheek for 30 seconds and place it in the sealed envelope provided. The final step is to mail back the swabs to the organization. Completing these simple steps could help save someone’s life.
At Lax Day and the Baseball Parade, our group helped raise awareness. We answered questions and reassured people if they are a match for someone, the procedure will not be painful. Throughout the 2 days, we were able to get over 70 people to join the bone marrow registry! In addition, we gave the extra materials from the drives to an older sister to get people to sign up at her college. We will present our project to a big group next week, and we are hoping to get more people to register. We are continuing to spread the word and hope everyone decides to join the registry! 
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Our Confirmation Group: 
Delaney Bessel
Sarah Casale
Paige Delaney
Caitlyn Devir
Maddie Foglia
Ashley Franco
Hagan Gorman
Madelyn Grassi
Casey Haas
Mikayla Mancini
Katherine Muccio
Maddie Sullivan
Megan Tyrrell
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