Bone Marrow Drive

When our University of Colorado student chapter discovered that the NCPA Foundation was partnering this past November with DKMS, the world’s largest bone marrow donor center, for their second annual bone marrow donor drive, we knew it was something we wanted to get involved in. After emailing the NCPA Foundation at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and discovering that no pharmacies in Colorado were set to take part, we went to work and started asking independent pharmacists if they would be willing to participate. When the first three pharmacists we asked all said yes, our chapter’s first bone marrow donor drives were born. Working with DKMS and NCPA was incredibly easy. Once they had the addresses of the participating pharmacies, they shipped all the supplies and educational materials. We held the marrow drives in the evenings at the pharmacies for 3-4 hours. I, as well as two other students, posted fliers in the communities around the pharmacies a week or two in advance, and one of the drives was even written up in the local paper! All the volunteers watched a short webinar that explained the basics of bone marrow donation, and our preparations for the donor week were concluded.

At the actual drives we checked to make sure donors were eligible, verified the forms were filled out correctly and explained the cheek swab procedure for them. The donors swabbed their own cheeks and the swabs were placed in a small bar-coded box, which was sent back to DKMS at the end of the drives. In total we signed up 37 new donors to the registry and forwarded the addresses of 17 others who could not make it to the pharmacies but wanted to be added to the registry so DKMS could send them a cheek swab kit by mail. Our chapter also educated countless others on not only the need for bone marrow, especially in minority patients, but on the actual donation procedure.

This was a great experience for our chapter and for me personally. I have a dear friend who is fighting lymphoma for the second time and he was my inspiration for having our chapter participate in this event. The most rewarding part of these drives was having friends and strangers share their stories involving their loved ones who either had a successful bone marrow transplant or who needed one. The sentiment was the same from every individual with one of these stories: “What your NCPA chapter is doing is so necessary and appreciated.”

After the tremendous success of this year’s donor drives, our chapter will definitely participate next year, as well as try to expand the drives to more pharmacies. We give a huge thanks to Huy Duong of Dale’s Pharmacy, Trey Beattie of Beattie’s Community Pharmacy, and Nancy Gallegos of Windsor Gardens Pharmacy for sharing their time and pharmacies with us.

Wendy Lantaff
University of Colorado School of Pharmacy
Pharm.D. Candidate 2013

Beattie's Pharmacy
University of Colorado NCPA President Michaela Hasan, reviewing the donor eligibility requirements with a potential donor at Beattie’s Community Pharmacy

Dale's Pharmacy
Wendy Lantaff and Stephanie Kling at Dale’s Pharmacy

Windsor Gardens
Erin Marten and Clarissa Manzi at Windsor Garden’s Pharmacy

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