Help save lives at blood drive, marrow registry in Gurnee
BY JIM NEWTON firstname.lastname@example.org August 23, 2013 1:32PM
Updated: October 25, 2013 2:22AM
Medical assistant students at Computer Systems Institute in Gurnee will get some hands-on training in their trade Sept. 5, while also helping save a lives.
The school is holding a blood drive and bone marrow registry in its main lobby on Grand Avenue that day from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.. The entire community is welcome to participate in the event and no pre-registration is necessary.
The drive was initiated by CSI Director of Student Services Roxanne Peplow, who also serves as the blood drive chairperson for LifeSource, which has a local office right next to the school.
She said because many of the school’s medical assistants do externships at LifeSource, it was a natural fit for them to help organize and participate in a blood drive and marrow registry event at the campus.
“There is such a huge medical assistance program here, I’m sure the kids will be eager to help,” Peplow said.
Replow also said the largest need for bone marrow exists in the African American and Hispanic communities, but not enough donations come from those communities. She noted that the school has a large population of minority students, so she hopes they will help by registering themselves, an easy process that involves a painless cheek swab, and by raising awareness.
Members of the public attending the event may choose to donate blood, enlist in the bone marrow registry or both.
For Peplow, the event is personal.
“I had a student whose father needed a bone marrow transplant and it’s such a heartbreaking story,” she said.
Peplow said a fellow administrator at the school also has a child with sickle-cell anemia who may need a transplant someday.
She stressed that registering is an easy process, and that a person would need to match 10 identification markers to qualify as a match for a person in need, or five markers to qualify as a match for a family member.
“You could be on the register forever and never be a match,” she said. “But the opportunity to save a life is amazing.”
Computer Systems Institute is located at 5330 Grand Ave., on the north side of Grand near Great America. The school offers training in both clinical and administrative health care, computer network, and IT and business careers.