The HOSA national service project is Be the Match, a drive to get people to add their names to the registry of possible bone marrow donors.
According to HOSA resources, every three minutes, someone is diagnosed with a blood cancer, such as leukemia. For many patients, a blood stem cell transplant is their only hope. However, 70 percent of patients needing a transplant do not have a matched family member.
Westview High School Future Health Professionals (formerly known as Health Occupations Students of America) advocating for the Be the Match cause were Ashlee Carter, Gloria Hogan, and Nastasia Smith. Westview advisors are Jessica McGuffin and Carolyn Glover. The group set up a Be the Match information table and encouraged visitors to get swabbed to see if they were potential bone marrow matches during last month’s UT Martin Skyhawk basketball game against Tennessee State.
McGuffin noted that while potential donors must be between 18 and 40 years old, students under 18, can join the pre-registry to stay up to date and receive a reminder to join on their 18th birthday. The Westview students have been calling attention to the issue since National HOSA Week in November.