When Pacific Union College participated in Matchmaker’s national campus and community bone marrow drive last week, responses far exceeded student coordinator Stefanie Holimon’s hopes. “I was excited but nervous before,” she explains. “I wasn’t sure of the response we’d get.” But after PUC registered 145 students, faculty and staff as potential bone marrow donors (compared to the 13 Microsoft registered and 55 from UC Berkeley in the same drive), Stefanie was completely thrilled. “I’m really proud of the school,” she says.
Stefanie’s involvement with projects such as these really started 17 years ago in Japan, when her aunt was diagnosed with lukemia. In response, Stefanie’s mother and aunt started a much-needed registry of bone marrow donors in Japan. Stefanie has personally been involved in numerous bone marrow drives. “This one has been the most successful of all of them” she says.
Matchmaker, a function of the Mavin Foundation, is a national program dedicated to mixed race bone marrow donor recruitment and education and is under the umbrella of the National Marrow Donor Program.