Chesed club hosts Gift of Life Marrow Registry to help cure blood cancer

Amid an unprecedented hiatus in its group activity, the Valley Torah Chesed Club has decided to end off this disaster-trotted year with as many community service projects as possible- and remarkable ones too.

The National Foundation for Cancer Research reports that approximately one person is diagnosed with blood cancer every 3 minutes, just in the United States. In 2020 alone, an estimated combined total of 178,520 people in the U.S. were expected to be diagnosed with leukemia, lymphoma, or myeloma. 

It is for this reason that on Thursday, April 29, 2021, the Chesed Club hosted the Gift of Life Marrow Registry for an upperclassmen presentation that spoke about the life-saving capabilities everyday people have. The Chesed Club also partnered with Gift of Life to organize a communal swab drive. 

Passionate about engaging the public in curing blood cancer, Gift of Life, a global non-profit initiative, quotes its mission as being a marrow registry that: “cures blood cancer through cellular therapy.” Gift of Life strives to provide patients with blood cancer a “second chance at life” by seeking out potential stem cell donors. 

In light of the global pandemic, however, numerous swabbing events have been canceled as Covid-19 cases raged and rendered many unable to swab due to health concerns. Although the new donor supply has shrunk, blood cancer diagnoses have not and the necessity for new donors has been higher than ever. 

That is precisely why the Chesed Club invited Gift of Life to speak to upperclassmen, to inspire a new generation of stem cell donors.

The process is elementary. People can become potential donors by getting a simple mouth swab. Once swabbed, a person’s kit is sent to a lab for examination and his or her stem cell type is subsequently entered into a global database. If a blood caner patient somewhere in the world matches his or her cell type, he or she will be notified of their potential to become a prospective stem cell donor. The Chesed Club swab drive took place on the boys’ campus where eligible students, teachers, faculty members, and community members had the opportunity to join the registry. 

In light of COVID-19, considerable health precautions have been taken both before and during the swab drive to ensure minimal contact and safe swabbing. All potential donors had their temperature taken prior to the swabbing and hand sanitizer was readily available before and after completion. Furthermore, all Chesed Club members, as well as donors, were required to keep masks on at all times (besides for the swabbings of course- which were taken with ample social distancing space).

A message to the donors: you are the heroes who represent the courage and national sacrifice we witness in so many aspects of American life. From one end of the globe to the other, you are readily available to help heal the sick, protect our most vulnerable, and provide critical support services. 

As President of the Chesed Club, we thank you!

For more information regarding Gift of Life and its services, visit the website: https://www.giftoflife.org/.

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