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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • Bone marrow drive to help S&T?family

  • A Missouri S&T student’s mother is in need of a bone marrow donor, and the S&T Student Council is asking members of the Phelps County area and beyond to step up to the call and attend a bone marrow drive July 12.


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  • A Missouri S&T student’s mother is in need of a bone marrow donor, and the S&T Student Council is asking members of the Phelps County area and beyond to step up to the call and attend a bone marrow drive July 12.
    The drive will be from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Havener Center in Rolla.
    Kate Burns, the council’s vice president of external affairs, explained the purpose of the drive, and how it originated.
    “My fellow vice president in StuCo, Ben Preuter, is facing a family crisis,” Burns said. “His mother, Kris Miner, has stage 4 T-Cell Lymphoma. This is an incredibly rare and intrusive form of cancer that requires a stem cell and bone marrow transplant.”
    Burns said it at first appeared as if Miner would have 1-2 years to find a bone marrow match, but that is no longer the case.
    “Initially, Kris' doctors had given her approximately 1-2 years to find a bone marrow match as no one in her family or currently on the national registry was a match,” she said. “Then, on June 12, Kris' doctor informed her that her first round of chemotherapy was unsuccessful, and her time was reduced to 7-9 weeks.
    “This tragedy has spawned desire. After hearing this, I got in contact with Be the Match, and we decided to set up a Donor Drive on the S&T campus in an effort to help with the search.”
    Burns said the event is a team effort.
    “I came together with a fellow StuCo officer, Tom Markowski, and two other individuals, Destinee Rea and Thomas Bowen, who I have never really spoken with, but their passion for Ben's story was obvious,” she said. “The four of us are working to plan this entire drive in hopes to make it a major success.”
    Burns said there were several reasons why she was so inspired to help this cause.
    “The first reason is obvious,” she said. “I care dearly about Ben as my fellow officer and friend.”
    Burns said the second reason also hit close to home.
    “My cousin, Matthew Sprague, was a brilliant and athletic six-year-old. He meant the same to me as one of my other siblings and was our future Cardinals player. April 24, he unexpectedly passed away. I didn't have time to try and save him.
    “I called Ben after I heard and asked him to take over for my meetings the next day, and he agreed without hesitation. He offered his condolences, said he'd take care of everything he could at school for me, and we ended the call. The next thing I knew, I got a card in the mail from all of my fellow officers in StuCo, and found flowers in my room that Ben had gotten me when I returned to Rolla.”
    Page 2 of 2 - She said she had no idea that the tables would one day turn, and she could do whatever possible to help Preuter and his mother.
    “Ben took all this extra time to show me that he was there,” she said. “I may not have been able to save Matthew, but because of him, I understand the value of a life and I understand that I have been given an opportunity to help save another person's life, and I value that opportunity greatly.”
    For more information, or to find out how you can help, email Burns at kmbcpb@mst.edu.

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