Features

ZBT Brother Saves a Life…by Donating Bone Marrow!

By Sheri Rosenberg —

Scott F. Postema, Beta Epsilon (Michigan State University) 2018, grew up in a small town in Michigan and never planned on joining a fraternity. In the fall of 2014, Scott met a ZBT brother (who would ultimately be his big brother), who was really welcoming and invited him to recruitment events. Scott felt that he really connected with the other brothers and became a brother of ZBT.

In March 2016, Scott attended Dover Days at Purdue University. It was the first time he had ever heard of Gift of Life or the idea of swabbing to donate bone marrow to save someone’s life. Scott realized how easy, yet important, swabbing was so he decided to host a swab event on his campus a month later. It was a great event, where many of his peers swabbed and learned about Gift of Life.

Gift of Life is dedicated to saving lives and facilitating bone marrow and blood stem cell transplants for patients with leukemia, lymphoma and other blood-related diseases. ZBT and Gift of Life became official partners in 2017 and since then over 5,000 people, like Scott, have been swabbed and added to the registry.

Scott forgot about the fact that he even swabbed until this past spring. He was working at the pharmacy on campus and received a text saying that he was a “potential match” and to call for more information. He was told that he had a 1 in 3 chance of being a match and that he had to go for blood work for additional screening.

Two weeks later, he got the call saying that he was a match! He was then informed of the full process and was told that he had to go to Washington, D.C. for a physical. Scott learned general information about the recipient: a 50-year-old male with leukemia.

He returned to Washington on May 13, 2019 for four days for the donation procedure; he had to get shots for four days leading up the actual donation. The donation lasted about two and half hours and he had two IVs; one to take blood out and then the stem cells were removed and then the blood was pumped back into Scott’s body. He felt so great after the procedure that he was even able to sightsee that day!

One year after the donation, the donor and recipient have the chance to meet if both sides agree. If the recipient is willing, Scott looks forward to that meeting.

Scott shared, “I wish more people knew about Gift of Life and how easy the entire process is. It takes less than five minutes to put yourself in a position to save someone’s life!”

Interested in hosting a Gift of Life swab event on your campus, or as an alumnus in your community? Please contact Director of Hate Prevention and Jewish Enrichment Sheri Rosenberg at srosenberg@zbtnational.org.

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