When Alison Roskoph, a senior environmental studies major at Eckerd College and student board president of the Eckerd College Hillel, had her cheek swabbed during last year’s Bone Marrow Donor Registration Drive, she had no idea that she would be a match. But having been identified recently as a match for a donation of stem cells, today she’s on her way to Washington, D.C.
“I found out that I was a full match the first week of December,” Roskoph said. “I was thrilled!”
For the past two years, Eckerd College Hillel has sponsored a Bone Marrow Donor Registration Drive in conjunction with the Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation of Boca Raton. Since 2001, the Gift of Life Foundation has registered close to a quarter of a million individuals and has made more than 10,000 matches. Eckerd College Hillel’s annual Bone Marrow Donor Registration Drive is completely organized by Eckerd Hillel students.
Just after Roskoph received word that she had been matched, she was flown to and from Washington, D.C., for a day of physical exams. She passed the exams and has been preparing for the four- to six-hour hour donation procedure by receiving shots to increase her stem cell count. The donation for a 57-year-old man with chronic myelogenous leukemia is scheduled to take place Monday, Jan. 13.
“The Gift of Life Bone Marrow program is flying my mother from Ohio to be with me during the procedure,” Roskoph said. “I am extremely glad to be helping to save a life and am proud to represent our Eckerd College Hillel.”
“The Talmud says: ‘Whoever saves a single life, it is as if he or she has saved an entire world’” says Rabbi Ed Rosenthal, Eckerd Campus Rabbi and Executive Director of Hillels of the Florida Suncoast. “We at Eckerd Hillel are very proud that Alison will be able to help save a life, becoming a super mensch and performing an amazing mitzvah.”
Eckerd College Hillel is affiliated with Hillels of the Florida Suncoast, which supports Jewish life on six college campuses in west-central Florida.