Recruiters build Be The Match Registry

Posted October 4th, 2010 by Be The Match and filed in Donor Stories
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A large and diverse registry of potential marrow donors is critical to patients in need of a transplant. Account executives in more than 50 Be The Match recruitment centers nationwide work hard every day to grow the registry. Together, they bring in more than 45,000 new registry members each month.

One of these busy account executives, Magda Silva, shares how she forms relationships in her community and in social media to recruit members to the Be The Match Registry.

Magda’s story in her words

Building relationships
I hold donor registry drives at all sorts of events and locations, but it’s the drives I hold with patient families that bring in the most people.

A lot of times, people are a little shell-shocked when they get a diagnosis and then find out there is no match in their family or the registry for a transplant. When families come to me wanting to recruit donors to the registry, I ask whether they are willing to share their story, because that is what will motivate others to act. It’s important to earn a family’s trust so we can work together. I can do that, because I really do understand what they’re going through.

I first joined the registry and began volunteering with (and later working for) Be The Match when my cousin found out she needed a transplant. Through my cousin’s experience, I learned how unpredictable illness can be, so I work with families with utmost flexibility. Typically, we work together to hold donor registry drives, raise funds to continue to add more people to the registry and the family may share their story in local news media.

Using social media
I work to build relationships with the families. One part of that is that I ask if they’re on Facebook or LinkedIn, and if they are, I “friend” them right away. For people who use those media, it’s important to make that connection. It shows that I am involved in that kind of networking. Most of my posts are about work, about Be The Match and donor drives, but I also post personal stuff now and then, like pictures of my family. I’m willing to share a little of myself to connect better with people. I think that when families see me posting online about donor drives coming up, they are encouraged. It is also a way for people who want to volunteer with me to stay updated on opportunities to get involved.

The thing that’s important in networking, whether it’s on Facebook or face-to-face, is that it’s about strengthening relationships and doing some good together. It’s not just about you. I also support other people’s efforts. I think that’s important and I enjoy it. It’s a way to let people know I’m rooting for them.

Overcoming fears
Families are skeptical at the beginning — worried that no one will come to their drive. They’re scared because they’ve never done anything like this before. But I tell them to reach out to their communities— work, school, faith community, clubs and organizations, and to share their stories, and it will work out. And when it does, they’re so excited and happy.

They understand that the drive they’re holding may not necessarily help their child or their relative, but if we save one life through our effort, it means a lot.

It takes one
I recall a drive I worked on where only 20 people joined the registry after we’d done lots of work to publicize the event. I was disappointed and the family was disappointed. Then I learned that someone who joined at that little drive went on to donate to a patient. I contacted one of the drive organizers and she was so excited. We don’t always hear about the matches that are made after our drives, but when we do, it is pretty gratifying. Just knowing you have that kind of impact is wonderful.

3 Responses to “Recruiters build Be The Match Registry”

  1. Hoteles Salamanca says:

    It is clear that the more people are in such acts will make us more and more if we will listen, so everyone should aim.

  2. Medical Jobs says:

    Do you people have a facebook fan page? I looked for one on twitter but could not discover one, I would really like to become a fan!

    • admin says:

      We have both Facebook and Twitter. Find us on Twitter @BeTheMatch
      Find us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bethematch

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