WMU News

Students remember friend with bone marrow donor drive

March 19, 2003

KALAMAZOO -- A student-sponsored bone marrow donor drive will be held Tuesday, March 25, at Western Michigan University from 1 to 5 p.m. in room 157 of the Bernhard Center. The drive is in memory of WMU student Taylor Pierce, who died in March 2002 following a four-year battle with Leukemia.

It takes two tablespoons of blood to register as a volunteer bone marrow donor. Donors must be between 18 and 60 years old and in good health. Each donor registration in the National Marrow Donor Program costs $65. The goal for this drive is 200 registrations. To raise the $13,000 needed to provide free registration to all drive participants a series of fund-raising events are being held.

Click here for related fund-raising story.

Pierce was a history major and a member of GC II, part of WMU's internationally renowned vocal jazz ensemble, Gold Company. According to friend and fellow student Brandon Bear, Pierce had a great love for music and a passion for life. He is remembered for his magnetic smile and courageous spirit.

More than 30,000 people in the United States each year are diagnosed with a life threatening blood disease like Leukemia, Hodgkin's, Sickle-Cell Disease, Stem-Cell Disease, and other fatal syndromes. The National Marrow Donor Program facilitates unrelated marrow and blood stem cell transplants for patients with life-threatening diseases who do not have matching donors in their families since only 30 percent find a match within their family.

For more information about the National Marrow Donor Program, visit <marrow.org>. For more information about the WMU marrow drive, contact Danielle Peterman at (269) 352-2295.

Media contact: Thom Myers, 269 387-8400, thomas.myers@wmich.edu

Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
269 387-8400