Ten Emporia State nursing students put together a DKMS swab drive last Thursday and
Friday in the Memorial Union, Union Square, HPER building, Science Hall and Visser Hall. They added 349 to the donor list, which surpassed the previous swab drive two years ago at 230 donors.
“I was pretty proud of it. I was very excited,” said Katelyn Hutley, senior nursing major. “We tried to be as all encompassing on campus as we could be so we could get more people.”
DKMS is a international nonprofit based in Germany that matches bone marrow donors with people who need transplants, according to dkms.org. DKMS pays for the materials required to register, like the swabs.
“We decided that we, as a department would incorporate this into one of our public health practicum projects,” said Kari Hess, associate professor of nursing. “We actually had a group of students assigned to promoting the event and then participating in the event.”
Hess said the ESU nursing department plans on repeating this project every few years.
“We’ve established a really good relationship with DKMS and their staff, as well as Earl
(Young),” Hess said. “Our big charge this year was to get more numbers than we did prior to and we did...In fact the first day we almost exceeded what we did the first time in two days.”
Earl Young won a gold medal in the 1960s Olympics and was a speaker at the ESU DKMS swab drive both this time and two years ago.
“Right now, someone is sitting in a bed, waiting for that person to be put on the registry,”
Hess said. “If people don’t take five minutes to do what his (Earl Young’s) donor did in Germany two weeks prior to his diagnosis, he wouldn’t have been here for our drive. He wouldn’t have lived.”
Students who missed the swab drive can still register.
“Go directly to the actual dkms website and they will actually send you a kit and walk you through the steps and how to do it,” Hess said.