Texas State radiation therapy saves lives
Since 2008, Texas State Radiation Therapy students have added more than 17,000 students to the Be The Match Registry, the world’s largest and most genetically diverse registry of volunteer stem cell donors.
The students have participated in or hosted drives that have resulted in 86 life-saving donations. Recipients have ranged in age from only a few months old to 72 years old, with 17 transplants going to children under 21. Recipients have been from over 12 different states and 10 countries outside the United States. 57 of the 86 donors have come from drives at Texas State, while 29 are a result of off campus outreach efforts.
Ronnie Lozano, chair of the Texas State Radiation Therapy Program, has made a point to get his students involved with Be The Match each year. Not only is Be The Match incorporated into his curriculum but the Radiation Therapy program has a proud tradition of hosting large, week-long donor drive on campus at least twice every year. The goal being to raise awareness about the unique opportunity to save a life, as well as the urgent need to add more ethnically diverse doors to the registry.
The past several years, Texas State students and faculty have been traveling to Universities and Colleges other than their own to expand their reach, adding more potential life-savers to the registry. One example of this being the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV), which they have traveled to three times now, to recruit students. In October of 2019, the 30 volunteers from Texas State recruited over 1,500 potential donors at UTRGV in just four days. The student-volunteers also gave presentations to classrooms and had discussions with students about their own University’s Be The Match On Campus Chapter.
The presence of these Texas State volunteers allowed Be The Match employees to meet with UTRGV staff while the Texas State volunteers added UTRGV students to the Registry. This allowed for two sports teams to agree to Get In The Game events, the inception of a Be The Match On Campus chapter, and new relationships with faculty at UTRGV to be formed.