The University of Texas at San Antonio community rallies to save lives

GenCure hosts Be the Cure on Campus registry drive to give hope to blood cancer patients like Reggie
February 27, 2020
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The University of Texas at San Antonio students, faculty and staff  can save a life by signing up for the marrow donor registry at the Be the Cure on Campus drive. GenCure, a subsidiary of San Antonio nonprofit BioBridge Global, will have sign-up tables on the Main Campus, March 2-4 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Every person who joins the marrow donor registry gives hope to blood cancer patients like Reggie Campbell, who is fighting leukemia for the third time. Campbell needs a marrow transplant, but finding a donor will be an uphill battle for the local fitness coach and his family.

To receive a transplant, Campbell must find a donor who closely matches the genetic tissue typing of his immune system, which is determined by a person’s ethnic background. Only 4% of the Be The Match Registry, the national database of potential marrow donors, is of African American descent. This leaves African American patients like Reggie with a lower chance of finding a match.

“We need people who look like us to join the registry,” Campbell said.

Be the Cure on Campus is GenCure’s effort to register individuals to the national marrow donor registry and find lifesaving bone marrow or stem cell transplants for patients with blood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma. 

More than 9,000 UTSA students have joined the registry since the program began in 2010, with 37 going on to donate. This year’s drive aims to add 700 potential bone marrow or stem cell donors.

This year, the Hispanic Student Association, UTSA Department of Biology, UTSA Voices, Be The Match on Campus, and the Pre-Nursing Society are working with GenCure representatives to host information tables. 

To join the registry, donors must be:

  • between the ages of 18 and 44

  • in general good health

  • willing and available to donate to any patient in need, until age 61

  • able to keep their contact information current

Follow @americathebold on Instagram for updates on Reggie’s journey. Learn more about joining the registry at GenCure.org

Media Opportunities: Interviews with GenCure representatives and student volunteers. Footage of sign-up tables and students registering. Media is invited to the table at the Sombrilla Plaza. Parking is available at the Ximenes Garage.