On February 17th, 2015 the sisters of Delta Zeta successfully held our 11th annual Sweet Caroline Bone Marrow and Blood Drive! With the help from Be The Match National Bone Marrow Registry, Blood Connection, and the American Red Cross, the drive added 415 potential donors to the National Bone Marrow registry and donated over 200 pints of blood. Beta Delta sisters also raised additional donations to help defer the cost of adding potential donors to the registry.
The Sweet Caroline Bone Marrow Drive is held each year in memory of our Beta Delta sister Caroline Terry who passed away in 2005 after being diagnosed with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML) in 2004. Each year, Caroline’s family and friends continue to attend and show their support of the drive and to honor their loved ones.
Throughout the day, students, faculty, and community members were invited to come to the Russell House Ballroom or to visit one of the many American Red Cross and Blood Connection blood mobiles around campus to sign up for the bone marrow registry and donate blood. After registering, potential donors were given the opportunity to add a purple ribbon to a banner signifying their addition to the registry. At the end of the event, over 400 ribbons showcased the incredible significance of the Sweet Caroline Bone Marrow Drive!
Thank you to our two Sweet Caroline Bone Marrow Drive co-chairs, Devin Sullivan and Chelsea McKinney, for giving so graciously of their time and effort to put on such a successful and important event! Also, a big THANK YOU to all those that came out to join the registry and donate blood. Taking the time out of your day to come and support this event can mean a lifetime to those in need. We hope to see everyone at Sweet Caroline 2016!
On Friday, February 20th, the sisters of Delta Zeta went back in time to the Roaring 20’s for our first social function of the semester – our annual Delta Zeta Crush Party. With a theme of “A Little Crush Never Hurt Nobody,” sisters and their dates came out to Jillian’s dressed in their best Gatsby attire. With pearls, boas and flapper dresses all around, the night was a great success! Thank you to our Social Chair, Maddie Keane, for planning such an exciting function!
I joined the National Bone Marrow registry during the Sweet Caroline Bone Marrow Drive my freshmen year. At the time, I did not put much thought into what joining the registry could mean for me. In late January of last year, I received an email that I may be a potential match. After giving a small blood sample it was determined that I was indeed a match for donation. Over the following month leading up to my donation I was coached through what my entire experience would entail. However what I failed to fully understand was how my experience with Be the Match would affect me, not only for my donation, but my entire life.
My donation coach Tristanna was so helpful and encouraging throughout my entire experience. She scheduled each step of the donation process and really worked around my schedule as a student. I think a big misconception, that at least I had before donating, was that I wouldn’t have time or that I had too much going on. I could not have been more wrong. Be the Match does a phenomenal job of making each step of the process as convenient as possible for the donor. Throughout my entire experience I only missed one day of class (and that was my donation day!). Joining the registry and donating has been one of the most positive experiences that I have ever been a part of.
Be the Match has a very strict confidentiality agreement. And as a donor I was only able to know my recipient’s gender, age and illness. This coming March will mark one year since my donation. At this time, I will be eligible to release my name and contact information to my recipient. I am looking forward to potentially meeting the man and his family who has so positively affected my life.
Through my donation I was able to gain a better understanding of what Be the Match means for those on the transplant list. For me Be the Match was swabbing my cheek with a Q-tip but for someone on the registry it can mean the chance to live a longer, healthier life.
I first became involved with Be the Match after attending the Sweet Caroline Bone Marrow and Blood Drive my freshman year. After going through the simple process of having my cheeks swabbed to be added to the registry and considering the odds of being a match, I never thought it would happen.
Turns out the odds were in my favor. Within a few months, I was matched twice for two different people. The first match, I was only considered a partial match for a patient and did not end up donating. The second time, I was chosen and made arrangements to begin the process to donate my stem cells to a woman with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. I was assigned a donor mentor, Lee, who would call me about my appointments and made the whole process run smoothly.
At the one year mark after my donation, I was given the option to learn my recipient’s name, to meet her and some of her family, to which I immediately said yes. Before meeting Linda (my donor recipient), I didn’t understand how big of an impact I was making on not only her life, but everyone else around her as well. Her two youngest sons had put their lives on hold to be her caregivers and knowing that they can now live the childhood they put on hold during their mother’s sickness was heartwarming. Linda is the sweetest, most loving woman I have ever met and her positive outlook on life is so infectious.
A couple of weeks ago, Linda had her “2nd Birthday,” meaning that it has been two years since the infusion of my donated stem cells. I call her my “blood sister” because after my stem cells were infused, she took over my blood type, O negative. Donating my stem cells to help save Linda’s life will forever be the greatest moment in my life. I am still struggling to believe that I was even able to make such an immense difference for someone else. I will never forget her face, crying with joy, when I first walked into the room to meet her. I highly recommend anyone who wants to make a difference in the world to join Be the Match. It is a simple and short process compared to all of the agony these sick patients are going through when fighting for their lives.
Did you know that every four minutes, someone is diagnosed with a blood cancer like leukemia? Join Delta Zeta on February 17, 2015 at the Sweet Caroline Bone Marrow and Blood Drive to add your name to the registry and maybe one day help save a life.
The Sweet Caroline Bone Marrow and Blood Drive is held annually in memory of sister Caroline Terry, Beta Delta Fall 2003, who was diagnosed with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML) in 2004 during her time as a USC student. That year, Beta Delta sisters held two drives to help in finding potential matches for Caroline and others that were in their search. Sadly, Caroline passed away in 2005, but the sisters of Delta Zeta still come together each spring to host the Sweet Caroline Bone Marrow and Blood Drive in her honor and to continue to help support the fight against cancer.
Delta Zeta co-hosts this philanthropy with the help of Be The Match, the leading nonprofit organization focused on saving lives through bone marrow donation. Adding your name to the national bone marrow registry is as simple as a swab of your cheek. With the help of Be The Match, you will have four cotton swabs of your cheeks taken and tested. A couple minutes of your time could mean a lifetime to somebody else.
Last fall, the sisters of Beta Delta received a Leadership Award from the Be The Match program in recognition of our chapter’s contributions and continued support to the organization through our Sweet Caroline Bone Marrow and Blood Drive. Since the drive’s inaugural event ten years ago, we have added over 3,000 names to the registry – with the potential to save over 3,000 lives! Some of our own sisters have donated their own bone marrow to help save another person’s life!
We all have the power to help save lives.
We hope you are all able to come out to the Sweet Caroline Bone Marrow and Blood Drive on February 17, 2015 in the Russell House Ballroom on USC’s campus to add your name to the registry and donate blood!
More information about the drive and donations can be madehere.