For most college students, their greatest accomplishment will be receiving their diploma on graduation day. However other students may go in a different direction and have a more unique highlight for their greatest collegiate accomplishment; saving a life. For Megan Ann Fontaine ’14, this will be one of the major events of her time in college, donating her marrow so an anonymous patient with lymphoma can have a second chance at life.
Fontaine joined the Bone Marrow Registry this past October, when it was on campus during a blood drive. All it took was a simple swab of the inside of her cheek and a few months later, she got the call that she was a match.
“When I got the call it was something I wanted to do immediately. There was no hesitation; I wanted to start right away. I had blood tests in late January and early February, then there was a waiting period, and it was officially confirmed that I was the singular match in mid February,” Fontaine said.
For Fontaine, who made her donation last Tuesday, the most surprising part of the process was how long it took and how many things needed to be checked and confirmed before her marrow was donated.
“It boils down to donating stem cells. The stem cells work in the patient’s body to help them fight off their lymphoma,” she said.
Before the donation day, she had four days of shots of neupogen, which tricked her body into making it sick, so it produced antigens, otherwise known as white blood cells. Then on Tuesday, the white blood cells were taken out of her body via IV where they were cycled out multiple times, so the excess amount of white blood cells are caught and stored for the patient with lymphoma.
“I just hope what I am able to give will help [the patient],” Fontaine said.
Stonehill students will be able to put themselves on the list for the National Donor Registry on Monday March 31st by attending the blood drive in the Martin Institute from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.