Bone Marrow Drive Inspired by SMU Alumni’s Daughter

March 31, 2010  

An SMU student registers to become a bone marrow donor outside of the Hughes-Trigg Student Center on Tuesday. The drive continues through Thursday and involves nothing more than a 30 second mouth swab. (PHOTO BY STUART PALLEY / THE DAILY MUSTANG)

An SMU student registers to become a bone marrow donor outside of the Hughes-Trigg Student Center on Tuesday. The drive continues through Thursday and involves nothing more than a 30 second mouth swab. (PHOTO BY STUART PALLEY / THE DAILY MUSTANG)

Chandler Schlegel
cschlegel@smu.edu

When any SMU student sees Ann Hinckley Anderson dressed up in her SMU cheerleading outfit on the boulevard she seems like every other happy 2-year-old.

Ann, the adopted daughter of SMU alumni John and Nancy Anderson (Classes of 1996 and 1997, respectively), is in a deadly battle with aplastic anemia and in need of a potential marrow donor.

Aplastic anemia is a disorder in which bone marrow doesn’t produce new cells to replenish blood cells.

When John Anderson began researching the option for a bone marrow transplant for his daughter, he discovered that there is a great need for more donors in this country.

Over 6,000 people are in need of bone marrow donations and this search becomes even more difficult since a match is based on a patient’s DNA and ethnicity.

Anderson said there is a great shortage of African-American, Asian, and Latino donors. “It’s important that we reach out to those groups and we get full participation from those groups,” he said.

The procedure has become less painful than ever before, and only causes slight discomfort.

Anderson encourages SMU students to start giving back now, reminding them this is a crucial time in their lives.

“At this point in your life you create habits that you will carry on for the rest of your life.”

Ann has weekly blood transfusions and plate replacement to prevent blood cells from clotting, making a bone marrow transplant a last resort.

However, the Andersons still want to encourage students to register to give bone marrow. The Ann Hinckley Anderson Bone Marrow Drive continues on Thursday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Hughes-Trigg Crossing. If you miss these opportunities you can go to www.bethematch.org and get a test kit sent to you free of charge.

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