Be The Match Marrow Event at GCC

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A Be The Match Marrow Registry Drive and Fundraiser was held on April 8 at Gateway Community College (GCC). The Art Club and the Small Business Center sponsored the life-saving event to help patients in need of a marrow transplant find a donor.

Marrow donors are crucial in helping people with diseases such as leukemia, lymphoma and sickle cell anemia. Gateway professor Marcia Piwarzyk knows this first-hand. Her son Brian was first diagnosed with lymphoma in December 2011. After many months of chemotherapy and terrible side effects from the drugs, he was in remission. After six months the cancer was back. He went through the same chemotherapy regimen, suffering the same side effects. He then had a stem cell transplant. He was in remission for just three months when the cancer came back. He is now in a trial at Sloan Kettering in New York, awaiting another remission, after which he will have a bone marrow transplant—all because he found a match. 

According to Piwarzyk, "Everyone deserves a second chance at life, but sadly only five out of every 10 searching patients receive the transplant they so desperately need."

According to Be The Match, only 30% of all patients will have a suitable family donor. Currently only 5 out of every 10 searching patients are receiving the life-saving transplant they so desperately need. For more information, please contact Nicole Pineault, RI Blood Center, at or check out the You Tube video. Or visit