March 2, 2022

Wayne students win Be The Match Medical School Challenge

Students from the Wayne State University School of Medicine won the Midwest Regional Medical School Challenge hosted last fall by nonprofit organization Be The Match by registering the most potential donors among participating medical schools.

Be The Match is an annual drive organized by the National Marrow Donor Registry. The registry provides possible donor matches for patients in need of marrow transplants for life-threatening conditions such as blood cancers, including leukemia and lymphoma, and sickle cell anemia. Schools were encouraged to promote the need for new donor registrations from ethnically-diverse individuals.

The School of Medicine’s Learning Communities hosted the drive for its fall medical school challenge, with help from the school’s Hematology/Oncology Peer Education student organization, or HOPE.

“We registered 102 new potential matches to the National Bone Marrow Registry, with an emphasis on ethnically-diverse registrants. I am so proud of the work that HOPE, the learning communities and I did to make this drive a success. I hope we can keep up the momentum and hold more events in 2022,” said Class of 2024 medical student Sarah Henry, who organized Wayne State’s drive.

The students led the winning team of all participating schools in the Midwest by hosting four recruitment events across Wayne State.

“Matches are made based on genetic characteristics, so it is important that the donor and patient are ethnically similar. The registry is lacking in racial diversity, and it is more difficult for non-white and mixed ethnicity patients to find a complete match. The goal of our drive was to register new and ethnically-diverse potential donors,” Henry said.

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