Be the Match hero: Meet COMM student Breanna Amborn

Breanna AmbornWithin the School of Communication, there are hundreds of students but few can say they’ve saved a life. Breanna Amborn, Media and Communication Studies student, is one of those select few.

Earlier this year, Breanna got a call that changed her life. The call came from an organization, Be the Match, the national registry for stem cell and bone marrow donors. The organization is active on Florida State’s campus, running awareness drives on campus and through the Marching Chiefs. Now in her third season in the color guard, Breanna signed up as a willing donor during a color guard practice. Just before spring break this year, she received a call telling her she was a potential donor match.

Every four minutes, someone is diagnosed with blood cancer. Every ten minutes, someone dies from blood cancer. There are 72 kinds of blood cancer and disorders that can be helped with a bone marrow or stem cell transplant. The transplant is often a last resort for sick patients. Contrary to popular belief, 85% of donors donate stem cells through a process similar to giving plasma, instead of a lumbar puncture. Breanna was one of the 85% who donated stem cells through this procedure: “You have a needle hooked up in each arm and you just sit there. They take your blood, cycle out the cells, and put the blood back into your other arm,” she shared in the video “You Could Be the Cure” by Chelsea Thorn.

With a 1 in 500 chance of being a potential match and a 1 in 38,000 chance of donating: Bree’s story is unique. Now an advocate and volunteer for Be the Match, she says the experience was one of the most rewarding ones she’s had. The ten minutes of paperwork and a quick cheek swab during a color guard practice turned into a life changing moment for Bree and a life-saving donation for someone else.

If you are interested in becoming a potential donor, visit Be the Match for more information.