Staff Writer, Michaela Gleed
Be the Match, a bone marrow drive, will be on campus to register potential donors March 15 and 17. On March 15, the drive will be set up outside Turner Chapel just before the Phil Wickham concert from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. March 16 the drive will be set up from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at the team Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), which is held inside of Turner Chapel.
To register for the Be the Match Registry, one must be 18 years of age, fill out the proper paperwork and perform a cheek swab. This instates you as a potential donor, but no bone marrow is donated until Be the Match finds someone that is in need and can accept your bone marrow. This recipient is called your “match.”
They can alert you of the match anytime from the day after one registers until the age of 44. When a potential donor turns 44 years old they are no longer adequate donors and will automatically be removed from the Be the Match Registry. Bone Marrow transplants are used to help patients with certain kinds of Leukemia and some genetic diseases.
Meagan Miller, North Greenville Universities Student-Athlete Association Committee (SAAC) president, heard of the loss that Landon Powell, North Greenville University baseball coach, and his wife Allyson have experienced because of one of these genetic diseases.
Landon and Allyson lost one of their children, Izzy, to a genetic disease that could have been survived by a bone marrow transplant. Izzy and Ellie Powell, twins, were born Sept. 10, 2012. The two were born prematurely, but each had fully matured personalities. The family spent a majority of their time watching and video recording the two girls.
Ellie was getting healthier, but her sister Izzy’s health continued to decline. Doctors saw that something was wrong with Izzy, but they could not label what it was.
She had rashes and swelling so they began running tests to figure out what was causing her symptoms. The next four weeks would be draining on Landon and Allyson as they waited for a diagnosis.
Izzy was diagnosed with a rare genetic disease hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH). For Izzy to overcome this disease, the doctors would first have to get her HCL into remission and then she would have to undergo a bone marrow transplant. Bone marrow transplants have a 70 percent survival rate, but Izzy’s HLH levels must drop before they could move forward with the transplant.
Izzy was known as a Princess Warrior by her family and friends as she went through seven months of transfusions, surgeries, spinal taps and chemotherapy. Powell said that during this time, his daughter taught him a strength and courage that sports had never taught him. But regardless of the fight she put forth, Izzy passed away that year without ever getting the chance to have the transplant.
To honor the life of Izzy Powell, North Greenville University SAAC is hosting Be the Match on campus. So, thanks to Izzy's life, Be the Match will be active on North Greenville University’s campus and changing lives nationally. To publicly honor Izzy Powell, there will be a balloon release on the football field March 27, 2018.
To find out more about the “Be the Match” drive or the balloon release honoring Izzy Powell, contact NGUSAAC President Megan Miller: Miller6246@ngu.edu or (864) 720-8890. Or visit www.bethematch.org