By Anna Skinner
After a moving presentation by Be a Match to her Ball State University sorority, Alayna Troha decided she should try to make a difference.
The 2014 Westfield High School graduate signed up for the organization, which used a cheek swab to match her to a patient that needed a bone marrow transplant.
A month after the cheek swab, Troha got the email that said she may be a possible match and needed more testing done, like blood work. After months, she finally heard that she was matched with a 59-year-old patient with myelodysplastic syndrome. Last month, she donated her bone marrow.
For five days preceding the procedure, Troha received two injections a day to increase her bone marrow count. On the day of procedure, Troha was hooked up to two intravenous lines, one which took her blood and filtered through the bone marrow, and the other that replaced her blood into her body. For nine hours, Troha was immobilized during the procedure.
“My parents had to feed me and stuff,” she laughed. “But I would for sure do it again. If I got matched again, which would just be insane, I would definitely go through it again.”
There is a one in 540 chance to match with a patient who needs a bone marrow transplant.
“It’s kind of funny, but I absolutely hated needles and now ive gone through tons of bloodwork and needles and shots and everyone thought it was funny because I was such a wuss, but it’s just so worth it,” the 19-year-old said. “I don’t want people to think they can’t do it because they’re afraid of it. Since you’re saving somebody’s life the little amount of pain is such a small factor.”
Contact between the patient and Troha will be opened a year from the date the procedure took place in case either of them wants to contact the other.