It's a long shot, they know, but a group of Vanderbilt University fraternity brothers hope the answer to a friend's lymphoma lies in the cheek cells of Nashville residents.
They're staging a tissue collection event Tuesday to find out. If no match is found, they said, at least there will be countless more samples added to a national registry and the potential for helping that many more people.
Senior economics major Ben Sataloff is a member of Vanderbilt's Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity. His fraternal twin brother, John, is fighting lymphoma back home in Lower Merion, Pa. — a fight that could be aided with a simple blood transfusion. However, an unusual characteristic in John Sataloff's blood is making finding the right match not so simple.
Even his twin isn't one.
If a match is found, Sataloff said, all that person will have to do is donate blood.
The event is 12:30-4 p.m. Tuesday at the fraternity house, 209 24th Ave. S. in Nashville. A representative of nonprofit Be The Match will be there to oversee collecting samples, which involves a quick, painless scrape inside the mouth.
"Ben doesn't ask for much, ever," said fraternity member Jake Lever. "At the beginning of the school year, he told a few of us about his brother's health issues."
When Sataloff mentioned wanting to do the collection drive, Alpha Epsilon Pi took it on as a project to support him, Lever said.
Sataloff plans to graduate in May and then spend the summer at home with his brother before beginning a job in New York.
"It's great to have the Vanderbilt community surround me and help my brother out," he said.
Potential donors with questions can email Lever at email@example.com.