USD student group turns to Facebook tool to raise awareness of need for bone marrow donors

SAN DIEGO - A group of University of San Diego students hope Facebook gives them a leg up as they seek attention for a lifesaving cause on campus.

The students are working with national nonprofit Be The Match to encourage college students to join the national registry of bone marrow donors.

Their secret tool is My Social Strand, a Facebook experience that reveals interesting facts and fun tidbits about you and your social network -- while raising awareness about the nationwide need for marrow donors.

The interactive tool gives the students and Be The Match another way to generate attention, in addition to the drives, posters and information tables students are used to encountering as they head back to campus.

The focus on encouraging college students to join the Be The Match Registry stems from a medical truth: Donations from younger donors lead to more successful outcomes for patients.

"When young people join the Be The Match Registry, they are literally making the cure for blood cancer available to more people," said student Christina Hirt, who leads the Be The Match on Campus chapter at USD. "The more college students we get to join the registry, the more lives we save."

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