By Ethan Kibbe, ’18
The Student Government Association at St. Bonaventure University will host a Bone Marrow Registry Drive in an effort to help alumnus John Hyland, Class of ’89, who is in need of a bone marrow transplant.
The drive will take place from 11 a.m. to 5 p. m. on Friday, Feb. 6, in the Thomas Merton Center on campus. The drive is open to the public. Additional drives are planned from 8:30-11 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 7, at Country Inn and Suites and from 4-7 p.m. at The Other Place in Allegany.
Hyland, of Morristown, N.J., and the founder of Private Advisor Group, had previously been diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia but had overcome the condition and was cancer-free for almost five years. Then, last September, Hyland was diagnosed with chronic myelomonocytic leukemia, an aggressive form of cancer.
New York Post columnist Mike Vaccaro, also Class of 1989, profiled Hyland’s plight Jan. 25.
Rob DeFazio, the director of SBU’s Center for Activities, Recreation and Leadership, said “the only way for him to have a chance to survive is a bone marrow transplant.”
Many of Hyland’s former classmates will be on campus this weekend while the drive is taking place.
“This weekend is ’80s Weekend,” said DeFazio. “The Class of ’89 has a large group coming, and they thought this would be a great chance to do a drive and find a match for John.”
Be the Match, a nonprofit organization that manages the largest marrow registry in the world, will be overseeing the event.
SGA President Alexander Noguerola sees St. Bonaventure as an ideal place to hold the drive.
“This speaks to what it means to be a Bonnie,” Noguerola said. “We look out for one another, and once you are a Bonnie, you are one forever.”
To determine if a potential donor is a match for Hyland — or anyone else — a cheek swab is required. Those who attend the drive are not committing to donate marrow. Rather, they are consenting to a cheek swab to see if they are a match for John or one of the thousands of other people who require a transplant. Taking a swab is painless, and participants can expect to finish with the test in about 10 minutes. The goal of the drive is to collect at least 500 swabs, according to DeFazio and Noguerola.
As an added incentive to take part in the drive, participants will be entered in a prize drawing. Prizes include an iPad Air 2 and numerous other gift cards.
“It’d be one heck of a story if we could find somebody from St. Bonaventure who is a match to see if we can save John’s life,” said DeFazio.
For more information, contact the Student Government Association at SGA@sbu.edu.
About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, St. Bonaventure University cultivates graduates who are confident and creative communicators, collaborative leaders and team members, and innovative problem solvers who are respectful of themselves, others, and the diverse world around them. We are establishing pathways to internships, graduate schools and careers in the context of our renowned liberal arts tradition. Our students are becoming extraordinary.
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