It’s time to ‘Be The Match’ – Santa Clarita Valley Signal

Every three minutes, someone is diagnosed with a life-threatening blood cancer or blood disease, such as leukemia, lymphoma or sickle cell disease.

For those thousands, a cure exists, though about 70% of patients don’t find it within their own families. 

That’s why the College of the Canyons Biology Club is partnering with Be The Match to host a drive-in community registry event, where the community is invited to register to be a potential match for someone in need of a life-saving stem cell transplant through a simple swab test.

“The science of stem cells is incredible, and it can actually cure over 70 different life-threatening diseases,” said Christine Mantilla, member engagement, enrollment and experience at Be The Match. “A small population of stem cells from a donor can regenerate an entire body’s worth of bone marrow.”

Biology Club President Brian Estarella-Murphy has been on the registry for two years, eagerly awaiting the day he’s a match.

For Estarella-Murphy, it’s personal, as he has had two close friends with blood disorders and has seen firsthand the struggle of some of these patients.

“I interned and shadowed at a hospital and a clinic,” he added. “I’ve seen many patients come in that are on their last chance of life, and I’d love to be able to give someone that possibility of living their full life without having to worry.” 

Being involved with the organization has actually changed his career aspirations, motivating him to go into the research side of medicine.

“I’m a cellular biology major, and the type