Bone Marrow Registry Drive April 16 at Southeast


Crisp HallCAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., April 7, 2014 – A bone marrow registry drive is planned for Wednesday, April 16, at Southeast Missouri State University.

The Southeast Student Nurses Association is sponsoring the event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the third floor of the Rosemary Berkel Crisp Hall of Nursing.

People ages 18 to 44 may donate.

The drive is being sponsored in honor of a nurse, Valerie Watters-Burke, a Red Bud, Ill., native, who formerly lived and worked in the Cape Girardeau community. Watters-Burke is awaiting a stem cell transplant after being diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Her only brother is not a match, so she will have to rely on the bone marrow registry to find a suitable donor.

The drive is designed to generate awareness about the importance of joining to help Watters-Burke and other patients like her find a match for a life-saving transplant, said Desma Reno, Southeast assistant professor of nursing. Marrow donors are urgently needed to help save the lives of patients with diseases like leukemia, lymphoma or sickle cell anemia, she said.

“You could be someone’s cure,” she said. “It only takes about 15 minutes and a cheek swab sample to join the registry.”

Reno says she encourages the entire campus to join the registry or consider donating financially to help add members to the registry. Every $100 raised helps add another member to the registry, she said. Contributions may be made at

For more information, contact Reno at or Be The Match at or (314) 348-5650.