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March 6, 2024

SVSU to hold match-making event to save lives

image of David Peruski with text

Saginaw Valley State University is holding a match-making event to save lives. On Wednesday, March 13, the university’s nursing department will host a “Be the Match” bone marrow donor registration event in honor of former nursing professor David Peruski, who is battling leukemia. The event will take place from 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. outside the main entrance to the Melvin J. Zahnow Library. The first 100 people to register will receive a free water bottle.

The event is being conducted in collaboration with NMDP, formerly known as the National Marrow Donor Program and Be The Match. It is open to individuals between the ages of 18 and 40 who are in good health. During the registration process, a representative from NMDP will collect a cheek swab from each potential donor. These donors will then be entered into the NMDP Registry, which matches patients in need with suitable donors around the world.      

NMDP manages the world’s most diverse bone marrow registry. This registry plays a crucial role in the treatment of thousands of people suffering from life-threatening illnesses, such as leukemia or lymphoma. A bone marrow transplant or umbilical cord blood transplant, which replaces diseased blood-forming cells with healthy cells, is often the best course of treatment. According to the NMDP, 70% of patients who need a transplant do not have a family member who could be a donor.

The odds of a successful transplant are greater with a close match between a patient’s and donor’s tissue type. People of the same race and ethnicity are more likely to share a tissue type. According to the Health Resources & Services Administration, there is a significant need for donors of non-European heritage, including: American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, multiple race.    

Individuals who join the NMDP registry have the potential to save lives. When a registry member is identified as a potential or confirmed match with a patient, NMDP contacts the donor to move the process forward.

For more information on SVSU’s “Be the Match” event, please contact Tina Thornton, SVSU associate professor of nursing, at (989) 964-2575 or For more information on the NMDP registry or the donation process, visit