By Alexa Currier:
Today, myself and many other Assumption College Students received an email regarding our confirmation of involvement in the Be the Match Drive. A couple of weeks ago, students from Assumption College’s Love Your Melon teamed up with Be the Match Foundation. Love Your Melon is an apparel brand that donates half of their proceeds to organizations that fight cancer. They have ambassadors all over the United States that promote the brand and interact with kids fighting cancer to help their battle. Be the Match is the largest and most diverse marrow registry in the world, they work every day to save lives through transplant.
This semester BTM and LYM set up a table for other Assumption College students to visit. Each student would fill out paperwork and swab their cheek to be sent to a lab. Once tested, the results will come back and tell whether the student is a match for a bone marrow transplant.
The second part of the process happened today when we got the email asking again for our permission and dedication to the foundation. If we hit yes, then we continue to go through the process as a donor.
The number of students willing to donate was overwhelming. The support and love from the Assumption College community was powerful and inspired me to understand why these students care so much. There was such a great turnout. More than 100 students participated and now Be the Match has decided to come to campus two days every semester.
Multiple LYM members participated in the drive for reasons that are of utmost value to them. A few of them took the time to share why.
Junior, Claudelle Osias shared, “When I was in the fifth grade, my older brother was diagnosed with cancer. He’s been one of my best friends since I was a kid so it was a huge shock to imagine that my sixteen-year-old brother had gotten something that I had only really heard of adults having. It was a hard few years in my family’s lives, but, it wasn’t a lonely one. Between friends, family, and even organizations such as Make-A-Wish, they had helped my family through these times. And since then, I’ve always wanted to give back. So I joined LYM. Through this organization, we had received an opportunity to participate in another program such as Be The Match and I was so excited to be able to donate. I had always thought that if I ever had a chance to do something that could save someone’s life, I would and that’s what I chose to do. Love Your Melon gives me the chance to help out someone else even if it is through something as small as giving a hat or potentially being a donator for Be The Match. A small action goes a long way. Even though it may feel small to you, you could have impacted someone more than you may ever know.”
Another Junior, Lauren Chapdelaine, shared her story, “Two of my grandparents have had cancer of different forms and fortunately fought and lived long lives, but both ultimately died from it. Assumption’s willingness to fight cancer is important to me because no one asks for cancer. This horrible illness takes so many different forms and it’s not subjective to one type of person or age, and that’s the cruelest part about it. It took away my chance to get to know my grandpa, but he lived a long life—cancer takes away children, teens, and adults from families and doesn’t give them a chance at a long life. If we continue to fight and spread awareness, we can diminish the possibilities of people suffering the losses due to this horrible disease and someday, hopefully, reach a point where no one has to fight it at all anymore because it no longer exists.”
Members of Love Your Melon work to make the lives of kids fighting cancer better every day. However, Be the Match offers even more opportunities to help individuals fighting the same battle.
Sophomore Delaney Fenton said, “Assumption College is such a small community with such a family oriented atmosphere.” When the community comes together for an event like this, the results really show how much the students care.
Events like the Be the Match Swab Drive give these students the chance to make a difference. This event is especially important to those who have been impacted by cancer and have felt hopeless in the past.
The Assumption community is one students and faculty are all proud to be a part of for reasons like this effort. They come together to help those in need and show support for people they may never even have met before. There is no better feeling then seeing these students work together to change the lives of others for the better.