This week’s campus profile is Chase Fettig, the president of the Be the Match club at Oregon State University. Please read to find out what exactly that organization is and how it has shaped his life as well as many others!
Name: Chase Fettig
Hometown: Portland, Oregon
Major: Public Health, Health Management and Policy
Minor: Business and Entrepreneurship
What exactly is Be the Match?
“Be the Match is a nonprofit organization that strives to save the lives of those battling blood cancer. Through bone marrow transplants and peripheral stem cell donations, Be the Match is a global leader in connecting patients and donors, a unique process that helps thousands of individuals every year. Be the Match On Campus is a program under Be the Match that gives students the chance to participate in this incredible social movement that literally gives people the chance to save someone’s life. Be the Match at Oregon State is one of 102 On Campus chapters, and over four years, we’ve been able to register over 2,500 students, 26 of whom have been selected as potential donors, and 9 of those 26 have gone on to donate bone marrow or peripheral stem cells.”
Why did you join it and why did you choose to have a leadership role in it?
“I began volunteering for Be the Match when I first started at Oregon State, because my cousin Blair Fettig established an On Campus chapter here in Corvallis. Blair founded Be the Match at Oregon State in 2013 after his older brother, my cousin Matt Fettig, was diagnosed with leukemia, and saved by a bone marrow transplant that he received from Eric Fettig, the eldest brother of the three. After being so impacted by Matt’s diagnosis and successful transplant, I have been inspired to devote my time to Be the Match for families and patients in need of support. I was lucky enough to complete an internship for Be the Match last year, as a Community Engagement Representative, which helped me grow as a volunteer and inevitably lead our organization as chapter president.”
How has joining Be the Match changed your life?
“Be the Match has changed my life in many ways, but the most inspirational impact was the cure of my cousin through a bone marrow transplant. Unfortunately, most people don’t understand how detrimental a blood cancer diagnosis is until they have been personally impacted, so I believe that those who have experienced this hardship need to spend time to help the next person in need.”
Lastly, what are the steps for other students at OSU to sign up?
“Registering to donate bone marrow is a simple process. By either ordering a free kit online or attending one of our bone marrow registry events on campus, individuals fill out a consent form and swab their cheek. Those wanting to enter the registry must be healthy and between the ages of 18-44, and once admitted, you will remain active in the registry until you are 61. It is quite rare to be selected as a “match” to a patient in need of bone marrow or stem cells, yet we hope to connect as many people as possible to give the gift of life. Our next bone marrow registry event will be Wednesday, March 15th from 11:00am-3:00pm in the Student Experience Center plaza.”