Summer/Fall  2000
Volume 5 Number 1


by Carie Stanley, M.Div. Class of 2000 and associate pastor for youth ministry at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, North Carolina

In April eighty members of the Seminary community registered with the National Bone Marrow Registry. The drive was a response to a friend’s words in Buck’s eulogy challenging people to register to be bone marrow donors.

Funds were raised to cover the lab expenses for one hundred people through a generous donation by Carter-Wallace, Inc. The next step was to educate people on what it means to be a bone marrow donor.

One first registers by donating a small sample of blood. Lab work is then done to determine blood antigen types, and information about the donor, and the antigen types, are catalogued in the registry’s database. Patients looking for potential donors are then matched with those in the national registry. If there is a match, the registry contacts the potential donor for more extensive tissue-matching tests. If these final tests are positive, the donor may be asked to undergo the procedure to extract bone marrow for transplant.

During the ninety-minute procedure, bone marrow is extracted from the back of the donor’s pelvis using a special needle. For many diseases, bone marrow transplantation is the only known cure. At any given time there are more than 30,000 people with blood diseases that can be treated with a bone marrow transplant.

Buck received two marrow transplants as treatment against Hodgkin’s disease. In the hospital before his second transplant, he and his family read a liturgy that had been written by hospital chaplain Jann Aldriedge-Clanton for the occasion. The Bone Marrow Drive opened with the same liturgy. To support and raise awareness about health ministries, this event was coordinated with the annual health fair at PTS.

The momentum can continue beyond the Seminary community. One way churches can demonstrate their commitment to healing is by encouraging people to register as bone marrow donors.

To contact the national registry, call 1-800-MARROW-2 or visit www.marrow.org.


Copyright 2000 Princeton Theological Seminary
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