Now, the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh accounting and finance graduate is encouraging students to follow his lead and “Be the Match.”
A 2012 alumnus of UW Oshkosh — an award-winning College of Business graduate — Dudzinski returned to campus the week of Oct. 15 to help register potential bone marrow donors through the National Marrow Donor Program’s “Be the Match” campaign.
The effort, coordinated with the support of his alma mater’s College of Business, registered more than 200 UW Oshkosh community members in the drive.
“I was absolutely thrilled by the enthusiasm we were able to generate,” said Dudzinski, who, in an outpatient procedure in 2011 in Madison, provided healthy bone-marrow to a recipient who needed it.
“To successfully enlist just over 1 percent of the university to donate bone marrow in a single day is nothing short of spectacular,” he said. “But, in all honestly, all we tried to do was educate students and let them make their own decision.”
Dozens of students stepped up to Be the Match registration stations in Reeve Memorial Union to register.
Garrett Sewell, a Radio-TV-Film student from Delavan, said his father was in the Air Force and was required to register as a bone marrow donor. When duty called, his donation ended up helping save an Italian child’s life. It inspired Sewell to follow in its father’s footsteps.
“Every time I heard that story it really hit home for me,” he said, awaiting the chance to file his registry paperwork in Reeve.
Dudzinski said education is often the key to unlocking an understanding and willingness within people to become registered marrow donors. The recent Be the Match success is proof positive, he said.
“I believed that if good-natured people simply understood the donation process and what the marrow was used for they would be convinced to sign up, and I was not disappointed,” he said. “My hope now is to take advantage of that enthusiasm to enlist a handful of undergraduates to turn this into an annual event.”