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Radiation Therapy Program garners volunteerism award from NMDP

By Kayla J. Kayden
University News Service
September 24, 2014

The Kathy Soliz Radiation Therapy Outreach Program at Texas State University, along with faculty members Ronnie Lozano and Dora Lopez, received the 2014 Volunteerism Award from “Be the Match,” operated by the National Marrow Donor Program. 

The program is named in honor of Kathy Soliz, a resident of San Marcos, who lost her 11-year battle with leukemia at the age of 23.

Each year, “Be the Match” recognizes individuals, groups and organizations for its outstanding efforts to raise awareness of its mission.  Yvonne Ibarra, director of the NMDP for South and Central Texas, nominated the Texas State Radiation Therapy Program for this award.  Lozano, chair of the Radiation Therapy Program, said the award reflects student’s efforts and goals.  

“This special recognition reflects the efforts and true commitment of our students who have dedicated goals and desires to work with cancer patients,” Lozano said.  “We are honored to be receiving this award.”

The Radiation Therapy Program raises awareness of the NMDP with marrow drives, as well as other functions, organized by the Texas State Cancer Advocacy Movement for Colleges and Outreach.  Lozano said participation with NMDP could advance outreach efforts.

“We look forward to extending our relationship with this organization as we participate in their meetings,” Lozano said.  “I personally feel that this may advance outreach efforts- that is exciting.”

The 2014 Kayak for a Cure event on Sept. 27, will be the first marrow drive for the academic year.  In addition to donor registrations, the event is to raise proceeds to support the next marrow donor outreach.  The proceeds from the tickets sold will go to the Texas State Radiation Therapy Marrow Outreach Fund.  CAMCO will also have a campus marrow drive in the spring.

Texas State is ranked among one of the top radiation therapy programs in the country.  The marrow donor drives register hundreds of students to join the NMDP “Be the Match” registry and to date, Texas State has the only Ph.D.- prepared faculty in a radiation therapy program in the state of Texas. 

Lozano said minorities registrants are significantly lower than Caucasian donor registrations and there are efforts for the participation of more Hispanics.  The marrow donor outreach in spring will focus on improving the struggle of Hispanic leukemia patients. 

For more information on the Radiation Therapy Program, please contact Lozano at rl10@tstate.edu or call (512) 245-1345.