Collaboration: Siouxland Chapter
South Dakota’s Siouxland Chapter had the opportunity to coordinate a bone marrow drive when a chapter member’s friend was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome. We learned that the ideal donor candidate is between 18 and 44 years old.
However, in South Dakota 54 of the 66 counties have fewer than seven people per square mile, so access to a large population of potential donors ages 18–44 was problematic. Encouraged by the AACN president’s “Dare To” theme, we partnered with the largest state university to enroll young adults in the bone marrow registry.
Siouxland Chapter collaborated with the College of Nursing, Nursing and Pharmacy Student Associations and with “Be The Match®” to comply with national guidelines. The drive was held on campus, where chapter members obtained cheek swabs and completed registration procedures.
We registered 354 people as potential bone marrow donors through a collaborative effort among several groups. While there are a limited number of potential donors in rural areas, collaboration and appropriate targeting of potential donors in a concentrated population resulted in successful messaging and registration of a significant number of young adults in the national bone marrow registry.