MCNY and Preserve Our Legacy Launch Bone Marrow Awareness Week by Encouraging New Yorkers and Multicultural Communities to Participate in Donation Drive

NEW YORK, NY – February 22, 2013 — Metropolitan College of New York (MCNY) is excited to continue its partnership with Preserve Our Legacy (P.O.L.), a not-for-profit organization founded by MCNY alumna Shana Melius and her husband Brett, in support of Bone Marrow and Umbilical Cord Blood Awareness and Donation Week which kicks off February 25, 2013. This will be the third straight year that MCNY will be hosting a donor registration drive at the College on Monday, February 25th in Manhattan (431 Canal Street) and Tuesday, February 26th in the Bronx (529 Courtlandt Ave).

Since 2010 MCNY, New York Assemblyman Keith L.T. Wright, and Preserve Our Legacy have partnered to create awareness and increase registration during a week of bone marrow drives with the organizations Be the Match Registry and Delete Blood Cancer. The trio will do so again this year from February 25 – March 2, 2013, throughout New York City. The drive will call upon students, alumni, professors, staff, friends and neighbors not only to register to be a bone marrow donor, but also to take it upon themselves to raise awareness in their own communities.  While Be the Match Registry, a nonprofit organization run by the National Marrow Donor Program, experienced an astonishing 1,800% spike in donors the day Robin Roberts went public with her illness, Melius feels that there is still much work to be done in creating awareness. Currently, minority participation in the National Bone Marrow Registry is tremendously low, with African-Americans, Asians and Hispanics each representing less than 10% of registrants.

New York Assemblyman Keith L.T. Wright has been working with Preserve Our Legacy to increase awareness about bone marrow, PBSC and cord blood donation in New York since 2009. In June 2010, Assemblyman Wright introduced “Jaden’s Law” (A04294) to increase awareness and registration. On June 11, 2012, the legislation passed the New York State Assembly; however, it did not pass in the State Senate, requiring a new introduction in 2013.

In addition to the bone marrow registration drive taking place at MCNY, Harlem Hospital will serve as the location for the P.O.L. Cord Blood Program. Many individuals are unaware that lifesaving treatment options can be provided through cord blood donation. Preserve Our Legacy’s program is unique in that blood donors are able to donate to a public bank at no cost. The organization urges both pregnant women and family members and friends of pregnant women, to contact their physician or Preserve Our Legacy to learn more about how they may be able to help save lives.

“Participating in this registration drive is a natural fit for MCNY,” said President Vinton Thompson. “Our students receive a unique educational opportunity where they are able to create meaningful projects that can impact the community.  Shana has done that with Preserve Our Legacy and we are excited to partner with her organization to help raise awareness once again.”

MCNY’s continued active support of bone marrow and umbilical cord awareness are evidence of the school’s commitment to fostering students who are not only prepared to make positive commitments in the workforce but are also committed to making positive contributions to their communities.  Shana Melius, MCNY alum and Preserve Our Legacy co-founder, is the embodiment of the school’s model at work.  Because of MCNY’s Purpose-Centered Education, Melius was able to take what she learned in the classroom and apply it to the real world.  Since its founding, Preserve Our Legacy has been dedicated to educating the minority community about stem cells and the treatment options that are available for diseases most commonly affecting people of color.

For more information on MCNY, visit or call 800.33.THINK.


Camille Gray

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