Life seems to change in the blink of an eye when you start college. You are painfully aware of how drastically your life has just changed, and you know that so many new experiences are right around the corner. Little did I know how much my life would change when one day on campus, I decided to stop by the Be The Match tent at Baylor University. I had recently joined Kappa Alpha Theta and was the type of student who was always looking for more ways to be involved. As I approached the tent, I reflected on what had brought me to this point. I always told myself that one day I would be brave enough to sign up for Be The Match. I wanted to be sure that if I received the call, I would be ready to say, “Yes,” without hesitation. I signed up for the registry that day with a simple cheek swab kit. That was in the spring of 2017.
Fast forward to January 2021. I received a call that I let go to voicemail. Upon checking the mailbox, I learned that Be The Match had called letting me know I had been selected as a match. Be The Match had called me once before, and I was the match for the same patient back in January 2020, but before I could donate, the pandemic shut down all Be The Match donations. With that second call, I learned that the same patient from the year prior was still in need. We had learned so much in a year about the pandemic, and the operations for Be The Match had resumed, continuing to bring hope to patients and families. When asked, my answer was, “Yes.” I was about six months into my first year of medical school in Arizona, about to begin my classes in hematology and oncology, almost uncanny timing with my Be The Match donation. The day of the donation, I walked in with some nerves, but mostly with a grateful heart. The process could not have gone smoother, and I am so grateful for the team that took care of me that day.
I hope that, by reading my story, you feel prepared to answer the call. There are few opportunities in our lives when we can truly partake in something that is much bigger than ourselves, and I firmly believe that this is one of those times. A deed like this isn’t for you. This is for a fellow human in need. You are quite possibly the only person on the planet who could help. And what an honor that is.
To join the Be The Match registry, follow these steps:
- Go to https://my.bethematch.org/Thetas or text Thetas to 61474.
- Click "Join" on the home page.
- Fill out your information.
- Receive the cheek swab kit in the mail.
- Provide your sample and mail back your cheek swab kit.
- Wait to see if you are a lifesaving match for a patient in need! You stay on the registry until your 61st birthday.