This website is best viewed in a browser that supports web standards.

Skip to content or, if you would rather, Skip to navigation.

Northwest Missouri State University

News Release

    April 18, 2016

    Community invited to help fight cancer through bone marrow donor registration drive

    By Lexi Ryan, media relations assistant

    Northwest Missouri State University’s School of Health Science and Wellness and the Department of Athletics will host a bone marrow donor registration drive from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, April 19, in the Robert and Virginia Foster Fitness Center.

    Participants between the ages of 18 and 44 only need to have their cheek swabbed to join the international donor registry, Be the Match, and the process takes less than 15 minutes.

    The mission of Be the Match is to save the lives of people diagnosed with life-threatening blood cancers through marrow transplants.

    Dr. Jeff Ferguson, associate professor of recreation, and his wife, Julie, organized the donor registration drive and are inspired to find a bone marrow donor for their nephew, Matt Cooper.

    Cooper, a 16-year-old high school student, is diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia and acute lymphocytic leukemia. He has undergone 20 chemotherapy sessions, numerous blood transfusions and spinal taps.

    “Matt is a young man that has unlimited potential to live a life of service to others if he can beat leukemia,” Jeff Ferguson said. “He is a very sweet and kind young man, and we need him around.”

    Cooper must have a bone marrow transplant after his last round of chemotherapy. His survival is dependent on finding a match through the international donor registry.

    “Fifty-four thousand new cases of leukemia are diagnosed each year and about 24,000 leukemia patients die each year,” Ferguson said. “About one in 540 individuals on the Be the Match Registry will go on to donate bone marrow or peripheral blood stem cells.”

    Individuals who are interested, but cannot attend participate in the registration drive may join the registry online by visiting

    For more information, contact Ferguson at 660.562.1651 or at

    For more information, please contact:

    Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

    Northwest Missouri State University
    215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468