Dr. Jesse Grady, a Clinical Instructor at MSU-CVM, has recently been selected to be a donor for an organization called Be The Match. This is a donor organization that offers hope to patients with blood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma, sickle cell anemia or other life-threatening diseases. By joining the Be The Match Registry, an individual volunteers to be a potential blood stem cell or bone marrow donor. It also means that if selected, the individual would be ready to save a patient in need of a transplant. Grady generously wanted to contribute to the organization and was miraculously matched with a patient in need.
“I’m a big supporter of Be The Match, and I will likely be donating bone marrow through them within the next 60 days,” Grady said. “I matched with a patient in need two months ago and am now moving on to medical screening.”
One way to get involved with Be The Match is to first register online at their website https://bethematch.org/. Here, a series of questions will be asked about one’s medical history to see if each individual meets the basic criteria for donating. Next, a cheek swab kit will be sent in the mail. This is so the organization can obtain a sample of one’s DNA, and after swabbing the inner side of the cheek, the individual will send it back to them. Afterward, depending on the genetic complexity of matching donors to patients, it could be weeks, months or even years before any individual is contacted about a potential match.
Grady touched on his own particular story detailing on how long it has taken to be contacted and what he hopes to get out of the process.
“After I created my account and passed the screening questions, I received an envelope containing cheek swabs from Be The Match, swabbed my cheeks, and sent them back,” Grady said. “Ever since then I’ve simply waited for the past 6 years.”
By donating, the individual is representing a patient’s best possible genetic match and perhaps their only hope for a cure. If contacted, all that is left to do is to donate to a person in need and hopefully save a life.
“I hope to help better promote Be The Match around campus and show that doctors from MSU-CVM don’t just care for animals, but people as well; albeit in a unique way in this instance,” said Grady.