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Monday, May 23, 2022

Bone marrow drive grows stronger

UF is No. 1 in the nation for bone marrow donor registration.

The top-ranking drive was the result of a partnership between the Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation and Footprints, a pediatric oncology volunteer group.

Rachel Werk, 20-year-old UF behavior and cognitive neuroscience junior and co-director of the drive, said her organization registered 1,338 donors, breaking the record of 1,118 donors set by Syracuse University in 2007.

“The ability to go above and beyond that is really great,” she said.

Werk attributes the higher number to better organization and the huge turnout of volunteers. More than 200 students helped register and swab potential donors during the two-day drive.

“We had so many volunteers that we had to open up two more locations at the last minute,” she said.

Shayne Pilpel, 43, the recruitment coordinator for the foundation, said UF has run 18 drives since 2010 for a grand total of 4,480 individual donors.

This is incredible, he said, in comparison to the closest competitor. Ohio University has run 105 drives since 2007, but their donor total is only 5,344.

UF has registered the most individual donors at a single drive, but Pilpel said UF has also registered the most donors so far this year.

“When you have a group of students like Footprints who are working in association with Shands, you have a group of people who truly understand the importance of what we’re doing,” he said. “It’s amazing what they do.”

A version of this story ran on page 4 on 11/13/2013 under the headline "Bone marrow drive grows stronger"

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