side bar
logo
Saturday, August 24, 2019

Alumni

Alumni hold marrow drive for 5-year-old


The drive was held for Nolan, a 5-year-old with aplastic anemnia. This uncle and UH alumnus Bea Naranjo held the event. | Amanda Scott/The Daily Cougar

The drive was held for Nolan, a 5-year-old with aplastic anemnia. This uncle and UH alumnus Bea Naranjo held the event. | Amanda Scott/The Daily Cougar

Volunteers, including two College of Architecture alumni, from Match Nolan swabbed students’ cheeks on Thursday afternoon in the atrium of the College of Architecture, hoping to find a bone marrow match for a 5-year-old boy.

“Match Nolan” began September 2011, around the same time that alumnus Bea Naranjo’s nephew, Nolan, was diagnosed with aplastic anemia. In October 2011, Nolan’s family was determined to not have bone marrow matching Nolan’s.
“The students have been very open minded,” Naranjo said. “They seem to want to help especially since it concerns such a young boy.”
Last month, doctors told the family that the disease had evolved into myelodysplastic syndrome, also known as preleukemia. When no match was found in the family, Naranjo said they went into overdrive. If they couldn’t find a match for Nolan, “Match Nolan” would at least help one of the 10,000 other patients who are waiting.

Most students who walked through the drive felt the need to contribute.

“I registered because I want to help people and I was just compelled in that moment to help and maybe save a life,” said Frances Guerrero, hotel and restaurant management junior.

The process of donating bone marrow is relatively painless, with 70 percent of donations now being taken through blood collection. However, Naranjo said there are always people who are still little uneasy at the possibility of needles.

“You know it is a little bit of discomfort for you, but for the other person, they’re dying,” said Naranjo.

“Match Nolan” will travel to University of Texas Pan American next week and hope to return to UH for another drive in the Bauer School of Business.

[email protected]

Tags: ,


Back to Top ↑