LSGA calls for Swab for Sean volunteers

Constanza Flores | Staff Reporter
From Print | Legacy

LU has supported Sean Murry, a 23-year-old senior with Diamond-Blackfan anemia, since his sophomore year. Swab for Sean looks for potential bone marrow donors with a simple swab of the cheek. This is Murry’s last year at LU, so the Lindenwood Student Government Association wants the upcoming Swab for Sean event to draw a large number of volunteers. LSGA is looking for volunteers to help work the event.

Everyone is welcome to assist with the event, but must attend a training session.

Murry cannot make his own red blood cells. DBA patients can only be cured by finding a bone marrow donor match.

Swab for Sean will be held on March 13 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Connection of the Spellmann Center.

At the time of the event, students who want to contribute can get their cheek swabbed in order to find potential matches for Murry or any patient in the database. If the participant is a positive match, he or she will be offered two options for procedures to donate bone marrow to these patients with Diamond-Blackfan anemia.

According to Murry, the first drive that LU held was in Spring of 2012, 500 people went to get their cheeks swabbed and in the Spring of 2013, about 200 people.

“These events had been possitive for me, we have been doing a couple hundred of them around the country, not only for me, but also, for my three younger brothers, and there are about five hundred other people who have this issue too.” said, Murry.

“Even though it says ‘Swab for Sean,’ I believe that it is not about me really, I feel that we should try to make it about the hundreds of other people who are dying from cancer,” added Murry.

Murry gets a blood transfusion every month in order to stay alive, around 4 to 5 units. He also explained that DBA patients die in their 20’s, but if he finds a match he will be cured.

Christopher Burke, the secretary of the Criminal Justice Student Association, will be volunteering for “Swab for Sean.”

According to Burke, this is a perfect way to show support for another LU student. This will be the last event that LU will be able to hold since Murry is graduating this year.

“LU wanted to be the biggest one yet to show an extra push and support for Murry. The more people to get out, the more likely it is to find a bone marrow match for him, which is the big hope,” said Burke.

“Everybody should come out, it will only take a minute and it is a way to really potentially change somebody’s life. Even if it cannot change his life, there are other people with this disease,” added Burke.

Lauren Borrelli, CJSA representative, encourage members to get involved in this event and support

this cause. Close to ten people will be volunteering from CJSA organization.

Borelli is volunteering to help the event go smoothly and most importantly to help find a match for Sean.

“Participation in having your cheek swabbed could be the biggest life changing difference you make in someone’s life. Those living with this specific disease have struggled through their day to day life and deserve as much help and support as possible. If you had this disease, you would certainly be hoping and praying that someone comes forward as a match for you,” said Borelli.


First published: 2/18/14