Give Marrow, Give Life: A Chance to Save

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HOUSTON: Beginning last year, Houston students Sachin Shetty and Sachin Sanam began their project to change the face of the National Marrow Donor Program, Be The Match. When they started their project, the statistics for minorities on the registry was very low. For example, only 7% of the registry consisted of Asians/South Asians. Both boys aimed to change these low numbers for all ethnicities. Finding time out of their lives as high school students, they volunteered at bone marrow drives in order to sign more registrants and educate the public. By the end of the year, they had added 139 people of varying ancestries to the registry. In addition to the registrants, the boys raised nearly $2,000 for the cause. While not always signing up people to the registry, they successfully brought awareness to the community to spread word of this cause.

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This year, the boys have enlisted the help of two other classmates, Anushka Madhuvarshi and Adrian Moga, in order to effectively spread awareness on the issue. Their team hopes to surpass the number of people they added last year, bring more media to help people far and wide see the importance of “giving life”, and raise enough funds to ensure the registry’s ability to help patients. Many leukemia patients within the South Asian community as well as other communities are in desperate need of a transplant, and they will meet this demand. Recently, one of the patients, Traneka Davis, whom they were searching a match for passed away, but this, they say, “is only a testament towards the importance of our goals”. Instead of mainly targeting the South Asian community this year, the team wants to use their diverse backgrounds to interact with people from all walks of life. Donating to a patient is no easy decision, but these boys feel that the decision can be life-changing and rewarding. The entire process is effortless with little to no side-effects, and provides the platform for saving another human’s life, a “win-win” situation.

On a closing note, this year’s team feels confident that they can surpass their previous goals, and make a lasting impact on the global community.

As part of their school’s Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA), they want to take their impact and educate the community and their peers on the importance of saving human lives and doing good. They urge all the readers to learn more by visiting a bone marrow drive in a local community center, or visiting