Donor drive held in honor of Dr. Shane Frehlich


CSUN Students donate blood and register as potential bone marrow or peripheral blood stem cell donors at the drive held outside Redwood Hall on September 29. Photo credit: Christian Beltran

Christian Beltran

Hundreds of students showed up to the van outside Redwood Hall on Sept. 29 for the City of Hope Be The Match drive to donate blood and register as potential bone marrow or peripheral blood stem cells donors.

The drive ran from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and was originally planned to help Frehlich, who was diagnosed with myeloid leukemia in May 2012. After many rounds of chemotherapy, he achieved cancer remission only to lose his battle with the disease on Sept. 4.

To register, students fill out a form and swab their cheek for a tissue sample. This sample will then be saved in a registry to match with patients in need. Registered donors will be kept on file until they are 61 years old unless they request to be removed.

City of Hope Clerical Specialist Claudia Acevedo said it was a consistent and successful drive.

“We had a lot of students show up today,” she said. “It was a strong and steady turnout.”

According to Be The Match, every three minutes someone is diagnosed with a blood cancer, and every 10 minutes someone dies of it. Also, 70 percent of patients do not have a matching marrow donor in their family.

“I’m excited that I might possibly be able to save someone’s life,” said CSUN Student Cindy Romo, 23. “You never know when you’ll need it, so I’m giving back.”

Be The Match says that the likelihood of a patient finding a donor in the registry of CSUN students is estimated to range from 67 – 96 percent, depending on race and ethnicity.

Because of its great diversity, CSUN is the ideal location for a drive. The markers used in matching are inherited, so patients are more likely to match someone from their own ancestry.

“I donate blood as often as I’m able,” said Alex Lowe, 27, English major. “My high school buddy died of cancer; I’m doing it because of him.”

A public memorial service will be held for Frehlich at the CSUN Valley Performing Arts Center on Oct. 30 at 4 p.m. The donation website established to help his family can be accessed at