(L-R): Henry Kessler, Hannah Klein, Lauren Goldberg, actress Mayim Bialik, and Rabbi Danielle Leshaw at the 2012 Hillel Got Swabbed? Spring Gala

Photo courtesy of: Hillel at Ohio University

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National Jewish magazine highlights Hillel Got Swabbed? Bone Marrow Campaign

Story features student chosen as bone marrow donor

National news magazine, The Jewish Daily Forward, recently published a *feature story that highlights the success of Hillel at Ohio University's "Got Swabbed?" Bone Marrow Campaign.

Created in 2008, the campaign has registered more than 5,500 students and has identified about 200 potential donors and 13 actual donors.

Rabbi Danielle Leshaw, executive director of Ohio University's Hillel Center, said the publicity is at exactly the right moment because this year's Got Swabbed? campaign kicks off Aug. 29.

"We're thrilled to be recognized by The Jewish Daily Forward, which in the Jewish world, is an incredibly important and historical media source," Leshaw said. "It's been a dream that they would find our bone marrow campaign intriguing and worthy of a story. We are thriving, but it's difficult to gather interest from national media sources, so we hope the article will inspire others to create their own campaigns."

The story describes how Ohio University alumna Lauren Kahn was chosen as a bone marrow donor while she was a student. She was identified as a match to a young girl less than two years old, despite the fact that only about one out of every 60 people who register are found to be a suitable donor for someone in need. 

In the story, Jay Feinberg, the foundation's executive director, said "It's the needle in the haystack," about the odds of finding a bone marrow donor match for transplant candidates.

"I didn't choose to be a match, but I chose to be a donor," Kahn said in the story. 

The Hillel at Ohio University Got Swabbed? campaign is one of only 88 in the nation that partners with the *Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation.

Leshaw said the campaign is about network weaving where students share their enthusiasm for saving lives with their peers, their classmates, and their professors, which enables more people to get involved through a simple cheek swab.

"Most people wouldn't think that Jewish life in southeastern Ohio could serve as a think tank for one of the most successful social networking experiments on a college campus," Leshaw said. "We're about to launch our fifth consecutive bone marrow campaign and the publicity is generating lots of energy and excitement."

She added that Hillel is grateful for their campus partners (Division of Student Affairs, Athletics, Student Senate, Alpha Epsilon Pi, and LINKS) that have ensured the success of the bone marrow campaign.

For more information, contact Hillel at Ohio University at 740-592-1173.

* Link takes you outside the Ohio University server