Dentistry is hosting a bone marrow cheek swab drive from noon to 3 p.m., Sept. 19. The drive, which is open to the public, is in Dixon Auditorium in the College of Dentistry on East Campus.
A cancer diagnosis for dental student Colin Hays is the impetus for the drive.
Hays is a UNL graduate and was accepted into the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s College of Dentistry. His plans to start dentistry stwith the anticipation of beginning this fall. Those plans changed in July when Hays was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia.
Like many other blood cancer patients, Hays’ hope is to receive a bone marrow transplant. With no family matches available, he must rely on a donor from the national bone marrow registry. Unfortunately, more than half of the people searching for a transplant never receive one. The drive is designed to help Hays and the other 14,000 patients searching for a match.
“Colin is such a caring and wonderful person,” said Kiya Stack, a friend and fellow dental student at UNMC. “When we heard the news, we instantly knew we had to do whatever we could to help him. His family has all tried to be a match with no luck. We are praying that we can find someone through this event that will be a match.
“It only takes a few minutes and the swab of a cheek, and who knows, you could be a life saver.”