Be The Match

Potential bone marrow donors register in support of R-3’s Tina Zubeck

Platte County R-3 School District employee Suzanne Murphy wanted to support her co-worker, R-3 Community Relations Director Tina Zubeck, in her battle against a bone marrow disorder. But she wasn’t sure how she could help.

Then she found out about the Be the Match Registry event at Platte County High School Tuesday. When she heard found out how easy it was to register to be a potential bone marrow donor for a person in need of a stem cell transplant, she decided to do it. “It’s one of those things you hear about and I always thought it would be something painful,” Murphy said. “I didn’t realize how easy it was and how important it is. This is my way of being a part of supporting Tina.” Murphy and others who joined the Be the Match Registry, a part of the National Marrow Donor Program, first had to fill out a consent form, then were instructed to collect samples from their mouths by rubbing the insides of their cheeks with cotton swabs. Their samples were then submitted for filing with the Be the Match Registry. The consent forms outlined the process if they are found to be a match and requires them to be available for 30-40 hours of consultation and appointments and to make the actual donation. The marrow donor registry drive was organized by Platte County High School student Maddi Hayes, with help from R-3 administrators. Hayes said she wrote a paper on former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal, who is a spokesperson for One of her teachers saw the paper and suggested she contact the foundation in hopes of organizing a registry in honor of Zubeck. As previously reported in The Citizen, Zubeck is battling a bone marrow disorder, which is a result of chemotherapy treatments she received while fighting cancer 12 years ago. She recently announced her impending retirement and is currently on leave while undergoing chemotherapy treatment for her illness. A donor match has been identified and she is scheduled to undergo an allogeneic stem cell transplant. “I decided it would be a great way to support Mrs. Zubeck,” said Hayes, who enlisted the help of more than a dozen classmates. “We handed out flyers and the response has been great from the school and the community.” The following appears on the website: “For the thousands of people diagnosed every year with life-threatening blood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma, a cure exists. Over the past 25 years Be The Match, operated by the National Marrow Donor Program, has managed the largest and most diverse marrow registry in the world.”

For those who wish to donate without registering to be a marrow donor, monetary donations may be made in Zubeck’s honor at