Vance-Granville Community College, in partnership with the Project Life Movement and the “Save the Fox” campaign, is planning a four-county bone marrow registration drive in October.
Members of the community are invited to join VGCC students, faculty and staff at one of four events being held on each of the college’s campuses: Monday, Oct. 26, from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. in the student lounge in Building 2 on Main Campus in Vance County; Tuesday, Oct. 27, from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. in the multi-purpose room on the Franklin County Campus near Louisburg; Wednesday, Oct. 28, from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. in the seminar room (G1131) on South Campus, located between Creedmoor and Butner; and Thursday, Oct. 29, from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. in Building 2 on the Warren County Campus in Warrenton.
There will also be a station set up outside on each campus to assist visitors from the community.
At each event, participants will have their cheek swabbed to provide DNA that will enter a growing bone marrow donor registry. The painless registration process takes only a few minutes, but could save a life if a participant turns out to be a match for someone in need of a bone marrow transplant. Such treatments are the only hope for many people diagnosed with leukemia, lymphoma, sickle cell anemia and other blood cancers and diseases. Around 60 percent of those in need of a donation currently cannot find a donor match, according to Project Life, a national movement that started with students at Davidson College and has spread to more than 25 other schools.
Project Life supports a local campaign called “Save the Fox,” named after North Carolina Superior Court Judge Carl Fox of Orange County. Judge Fox was diagnosed with blood cancer in April and needs a bone marrow transplant.
Participants must be between the ages of 18 and 55 and in good health to join the registry. A video from Project Life featuring Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly is posted online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bKVegqJS7hI to demonstrate the easy cheek swab process.
“We are excited that students are taking the initiative on this drive,” said VGCC academic & career coach Seletha Pherribo, who is helping to organize the events. Nicholas Kemp of Franklinton, a Radiography student, is coordinating the drive at the college’s South Campus, while Associate Degree Nursing student Erica Medlin of Oxford is coordinating it on Main Campus. Medical Assisting students at VGCC’s Franklin Campus are taking the lead there. The Student Government Association and other student organizations will also be supporting the effort. “We hope to make this an annual tradition at VGCC, and register as many members of our community as possible,” Pherribo added. “As the ‘Save the Fox’ campaign says, ‘together, we can save lives.’”
Anyone who is unable to attend one of the VGCC events but wants to join the registry can find more information at www.deletebloodcancer.org.