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Jayhawks Give Back

KU student wants peers to ‘Be the Match’

What began with hosting a featured speaker at a campus meeting became a passion project for a KU senior.

Harry Pressdee, a senior from Overland Park, first heard about Be the Match when one of their staff members, Cortni Lind, reached out to speak at an upcoming KU Pre-Med Society meeting.

Be the Match supports thousands of people diagnosed with blood cancer every year by managing the most diverse marrow donor registry in the world for potential transplants. One such donor was KU senior Kenton Felmlee, whose donation was a perfect match for a St. Louis Blues superfan.

Lind and Tracie Howell, g’99, visited a Pre-Med Society meeting to explain what they do and how students can help.

“Their enthusiasm and compassion played a big role in getting me excited about their mission,” said Pressdee. “It’s also so easy to get added to the registry so I was totally jazzed about adding as many people as I could to it.”

From there, Pressdee committed to the cause. He started a Be the Match chapter at KU and serves as president. Pressdee is a microbiology major and will be applying to medical school this summer.

With the help of Lind and Howell, Pressdee organized Swab KU, Be the Match’s first on-campus tabling event at KU. During the week of March 21st, multiple student organizations will be running the table, sharing information about Be the Match and how students can help. Be the Match especially needs potential donors between the ages of 18-35.

“Each table will be equipped to educate people on blood diseases and their cures as well as to add people to the registry with a simple cheek swab,” said Pressdee.

To learn more about Be the Match and how you can help, either financially or by becoming a bone marrow donor, visit their website. Students can get more information about Swab KU on the Be the Match KU Instagram.

Our Jayhawks Give Back program, presented by Andrew Wymore, Realtor, celebrates ’Hawks who are making a difference in ways big and small. Each quarter, we’ll feature a member of the KU family and their story. If you know a Jayhawk who should be featured in Jayhawks Give Back, let us know!

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