Student waits to donate bone marrow

Bowling Green senior Taylor White holds a keychain given to her when she signed up to join the bone marrow donor registry.

Maciena Justice

Bowling Green junior Taylor White was disappointed when she was unable to give blood. But she got a new opportunity in April.

Taylor said she was walking around campus in April when her friend, Bowling Green junior Addie Dodson, asked her to join the bone marrow registry. White signed up, got her cheek swabbed and didn’t think much else about it.

Dodson, a member of Omega Phi Alpha sorority, donor said the committee wanted to sign up as many students as possible for the bone marrow registry at the blood drive that day.

“If it’s that easy to help someone, why wouldn’t you?” Dodson said.

When White attempted to give blood during the blood drive, something went wrong with the needle.

“I couldn’t donate the full amount,” she said.

However, she later tuned out to be a match in the bone marrow registry. In August, White received a call while she was in class.

“When I listened to the voice mail I was kind of scared because I had always heard (bone marrow donation) hurt,” she said.

But she was also surprised to be selected for the possible donation.

“I didn’t expect to be chosen, or to be chosen so quickly,” she said. “Some have been on the list for 10 years.”    

Dodson said she has been on the list for a year and a half and has never been a match.

“I think it was meant to be,” Dodson said.

Since receiving the news that she could potentially be a donor, the fashion merchandising major has had to complete paperwork about her health and undergo extensive blood work.

“It’s been really stressful,” White said. “I really want to do it and I’m not a patient person.”

White’s roommate, Bowling Green junior Nicole Croomer, has known her since middle school and said White is getting frustrated because it isn’t moving fast enough for her.

“She checks in with her contact every few days,” she said. “She knows the blood work was received.”

Croomer said White is one of the nicest people anyone could meet.  

“She has inspired me to register next time,” she said.

Now, it’s a waiting game. If White is a perfect match for a patient, she will travel to one of 15 hospitals that perform bone marrow transplants to have the operation done.

White said the transplant can be done in two ways. The first option is similar to giving blood called a peripheral blood stem cell donation. The PBSC procedure takes several hours to withdraw the stem cells and then have the blood cycled back into the system.

The other surgical procedure would put four incisions in the back of the pelvic bone to extract the marrow.  

“I prefer the PBSC, but it is what is best for the patient,” she said. “I couldn’t see my pain as a reason to not to help this person.”