By Carlota Garcia
Gift of Life is a non-profit organization that helps people battling blood cancer with a focus on finding matches for the patients who require a marrow transfusion.
Founded by Jay Feinberg, a leukemia survivor, the organization is headquartered on Yamato Rd. in Boca Raton. Feinberg suffered from leukemia and was told that his chances to find a match were about five percent. His family made it a goal to find a match for him and it happened to be the last person on the very last drive.
“At Gift of Life, we believe every person battling blood cancer deserves a second chance at life,” said Feinberg. “We are determined to make it happen.”
Gift of Life has accumulated a total of 296 Campus Ambassadors (CAP) in the U.S. since 2015. Lynn University has two of its own CAPs, both juniors. The CAPs partner up with different clubs and organizations to run drives on campus. During the drives, they swab people and send the kits back for testing to see if a person is a match for someone suffering from any type of blood cancer.
Rocio Carreño is one of the two CAPs on campus.
“I have always been passionate about the medical field,” said Carreño. “Since childhood, I have always liked helping others and aiding the ones in need. I knew that through an organization like Gift of Life, I would gain experience and knowledge as well as make a difference in someone’s life.”
On Feb. 26, they ran a drive with Diversity Club. Some of the future drives will include partnerships with SAE, Hillel and Tri Sigma. The CAPs hope to get as many people swabbed as possible, while also educating people about blood cancer and what Gift of Life does.
“If I have the opportunity to save someone’s life or to help someone in need, I would take it,” said Connor Larocque, freshman. “It’s the least I can do to give back to the community.”
Gift of Life has grown to be the first registry to collect bloodless specimens at donor recruitment drives and to have helped thousands of patients find their life-saving match. The five percent chance the doctors gave Feinberg, increased to a 75 percent chance after Gift of Life’s creation and hopes to raise the chances of many more.