The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


Students have chance to change life during Boulevard

It’s painless, it’s easy and it could save a life. During the Boulevard Saturday, Larry Lacerte’s family and friends will be hosting a bone marrow drive called “Pony Up and Be the Match!”

Lacerte is a Cox School of Business board member and the father of recent SMU Dedman School of Law graduate Megan Lacerte and current SMU junior Quincy Lacerte.

He also sponsors the Lacerte Family Lecture Series as part of the Tate Lecture Series.

In February, 2010, he was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML), a cancer of the blood cells in the bone marrow.

The disease is considered one of the most vicious blood cancers and is fatal unless the patient receives a bone marrow transplant.   

AML creates abnormal myeloblasts, a kind of white blood cell in the bone marrow that multiplies too quickly.

Patients need a donor with a near-identical DNA match to their own DNA. Because of this, finding a donor with a close-enough match is extremely rare.

“It has to be an almost perfect DNA match,” said Dena

Frankfurt, a close family friend. “Out of 5.5 million registered to donate, they had only three possible people for him. And then when they tested those three possibilities, they weren’t close enough.”

Lacerte’s older brother, who is 69 years old, was the only match out of five siblings. However, nobody over the age of 60 can be a donor because the body does not create blood cells fast enough at that age to provide a large enough amount to be donated.  

Frankfurt explains that the reason SMU’s campus was chosen for the bone marrow drive is because the younger the person, the better able he or she can serve as a donor. The ideal donor age ranges from 18 to 25 years old.

Because of the difficulty in finding a match, the Lacerte family is covering all costs for registration, which is normally $100 per person. If a match is found for Mr. Lacerte, his family will cover the expenses for the marrow donation as well.

Frankfurt adds that if a student or faculty member comes up as a match for any other patient in need of a transplant, it is critical that the student donates his or her cells.

Furthermore, giving bone marrow, she explains, is nowhere near as excruciating as it once was because processes have changed.

“If you’re somebody’s match, you’re probably the only person in the world that can save that person’s life,” she said. “Because it’s life or death. It’s the only cure.”

The process is simple. There is no blood, no needle and no pain. Student and faculty volunteers register at the booth, have a cheek swab taken by a medical technician, fill out a questionnaire and continue Boulevarding.

There will be water, food and an opportunity to win an SMU player-signed football or jersey at the booth as well.

The drive takes place between 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

Saturday at the fountain on the main quad. For more information on donating bone marrow, visit:

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