Preview: Be the Match registering UA students for bone marrow donations 

India Talwar, Contributing Writer

Nonprofit organization Be The Match is coming to The University of Alabama from Monday to Thursday to sign people up for the bone marrow transplant registry, giving them the possibility of being called to save someone’s life. 


Who: Individuals ages 18-40 with good health  

What: An opportunity to join a bone marrow transplant registry 

When: Monday, Oct. 3 to Thursday, Oct. 6 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

Where: Tables set up at the Student Center Lawn, the Quad, Shelby Quad, Sigma Alpha Epsilon house and the Kappa Kappa Gamma house 


According to the Health Resources and Services Administration, approximately 18,000 people are diagnosed with a life-threatening bone marrow disease each year. Many individuals with bone marrow diseases struggle to receive a lifesaving transplant due to the difficulty of finding a matching donor.  

To contribute to the need for transplants and lighten the burden of finding a matching donor, Be The Match, a nonprofit organization that places people ages 18-40 on a registry, was created. Signing up is a short process that involves filling out a brief survey and swabbing the inside of one’s cheeks, which takes around five minutes.   

Seth Bordner, an associate professor of philosophy at The University of Alabama, became involved in Be The Match when a colleague had a cancer scare involving a possible need for a bone marrow transplant. Bordner said he felt useless because of his inability to donate to his friend.  

After discovering his friend did not need a transplant, Bordner realized that he could “still be useful” to people in need of bone marrow transplants, resulting in him recruiting people to join the Be The Match registry over the summer.  

“Signing up for Be The Match is zero risk,” Bordner said.  

Only one in every 300 people ever get called to donate, making the chance of an actual marrow donation less than 0.50%. 

While the possibility of having to donate bone marrow can be frightening, registrants can save a life by donating bone marrow. 

Only around 15% of bone marrow donations require the oftentimes painful bone marrow transplant; in these instances, the recipient would often be a child in dire need of the transplant.  

For more information on Be The Match and bone marrow donations, visit here.