KELLY VAUGHAN ’17
Trinity students are passionate, involved members with both on and off campus organizations. These organizations often hold special meaning to students and help the greater good. Noah Koeppel ’18 is one of these passionate students. Koeppel has single handedly raised awareness for blood cancer research on campus, through his partnership with Delete Blood Cancer DKMS, a non-profit organization dedicated to registering bone marrow donors. Koeppel is a brother of Psi Upsilon and recently hosted a swab party with all of the brothers of the fraternity in hopes of “[inspiring] other community members, both students and faculty, to get involved with Delete Blood Cancer as well as other future charitable organizations.”
Even though each respective Greek organization often has their own philanthropy projects that they work on with their national organization, Koeppel took the meaning of charity to a new level, by sharing something meaningful to him with the rest of Trinity.
Koeppel first became familiar with the organization over the summer in Greenwich, Connecticut at a public donor drive. “I had heard of the organization before from my mother, but did not understand the full process or the magnitude of the cause and the national registry.” Koeppel explained that one of his best friends was diagnosed with leukemia, a form of blood cancer. “He is extremely positive about the entire process and I admire his resolve to beat it. Family and friends held a drive, similar to this swab party, at home in New York to add more people to the national registry in his honor. I could not pass on the opportunity to add even more individuals, especially friends, from Trinity to the registry.”
Blood Cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer, but often times chemotherpay is not an effective solution. Since 60% of diagnosed patients never receive a compatible match, Delete Blood Cancer works to register as many individuals as possible to be bone marrow donors. Koeppel explains that “Delete Blood Cancer enters individuals in good health between the ages of 18 and 55 to the national bone marrow registry for when doctors look for bone marrow matches to perform a transplant. The more individuals in the registry, the more matches can be made, and the more lives can be saved.”
I went to Psi Upsilon to interview Koeppel and learn more about the initiative and ended up registering to be a bone marrow donor myself. The process was quick, easy, and as Psi U brother Jake Jordan ’16 said, “It is such a high knowing I have the opportunity to save a life.” I admired Koepell’s passion about the project and efforts to not only get his brothers on board, but to extend the endeavor to the entire campus.
Beyond the necessary paperwork, Delete Blood Cancer provided Koeppel with stickers, coaster, and posters to help spread the word about their mission, using the hashtag #uniquebecause. When I asked Koeppel about the meaning of the #uniquebecause campaign, he said that it “helps promote the fact that every donor is unique in their own way of saving a life. Not only are individuals that have registered with the organization unique because of the wide array of talents and personalities they possess, but also because so many different talents and personalities all could have the opportunity of saving another unique person.”
Koeppel outlined the process in a very simple, yet effective manner, explaining that “All of your information will be stored with Delete Blood Cancer and the national registry so they know how to contact you in the small, but amazing and fulfilling chance you become a match.”
Koeppel emphasizes that “the most important part of registering is that you must be willing to donate your blood or marrow to anybody if matched.”
However, registering is not the only option to benefit this organization. Koeppel explains the other ways to get involved with Delete Blood Cancer, including, “donating money to help offset the costs of the kits,” as kits cost the organization $65 for each individual, or by encouraging other organizations across campus to host their own swab party. Koeppel also plans to “explore the possibility of doing a school-wide drive later in the spring.” To register as a bone marrow donor or learn more about Delete Blood Cancer, contact Noah Koeppel at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit deletebloodcancer.org.