Miranda Ogle Stem Cell Donation

Miranda Ogle Stem Cell Donation
KHS graduate, first-year medical student, donates stem cells through ‘Be the Match’ Kokomo High School graduate Miranda Ogle discovered she was interested in medicine when she was 10 years old and perusing books at a half-priced bookstore. 
Miranda stumbled across an anatomy textbook and made her dad buy it for her.
“I was mesmerized by the photos,” the KHS alumna explained.
Now, more than a decade later, Miranda has started her first year of medical school at Midwestern University. Just months into the school year, Miranda had a unique opportunity to witness her early medical school training in action in a very personal way. Miranda donated her stem cells for use in a bone marrow transplant as she was learning about bone development and growth in class.
“Having this opportunity presented to me, I couldn’t refuse,” Miranda noted. “I wanted to practice what I will preach as a doctor.”
Miranda’s donation was four years in the making. As an undergraduate student at Butler University, Miranda and some of her friends joined the Be the Match Registry in honor of former Butler basketball player Andrew Smith who received a bone marrow transplant before losing his battle with cancer. 
When she registered, Miranda did not know if she ever would have the opportunity to donate. According to Be the Match, about 1 in 430 members of the registry in the United States donate bone marrow or peripheral blood stem cells to a patient. The likelihood that an individual member will donate cannot be predicted because of the diversity of tissue types in the population, Be the Match notes on its website.
Miranda had age on her side, though. According to Be the Match, doctors request donors in the 18-44 age group 86% of the time because research shows that cells from younger donors lead to more successful transplants.
Miranda learned in August that she was a match for a woman in her mid-20s. 
“I was super excited when they called,” Miranda said. “I hadn’t heard of anyone that had donated or had been matched, so I was just shocked that I was matched with someone.”
When asked if she still would like to donate, Miranda offered an immediate “yes”, though initially she was nervous about the process since she was unsure what it entailed. Two types of donations are used – bone marrow and peripheral blood stem cells. The doctor chooses the donation type that is best suited for the patient receiving it.
Miranda was asked to donate stem cells. For a week before her scheduled donation, Miranda received injections of Neupogen, which encouraged the growth of stem cells in her body and mobilized them into the blood stream for collection. 
On donation day, Miranda traveled from her college campus near Chicago to IU Health in Indianapolis for the outpatient procedure. While the procedure can take up to eight hours, Miranda completed her donation in about three hours. According to Be the Match, peripheral blood cell donation involves removing a donor’s blood through a needle in one arm. The blood is passed through a machine that separates out the cells used in transplants. The remaining blood is returned through the other arm.
Miranda experienced some minor back pain from the Neupogen injections, but the donation itself was pain-free. The med school student hopes her experience encourages others to sign up for the registry. Patients need donors who are a genetic match. Even with a registry of millions, many patients cannot find a match. Staff members at Be the Match are working to increase the diversity of donors on the registry to help more patients find the donor they need.
Miranda has a message for those considering joining the registry.
“I want to convey that the donation process was so simple and painless, and becoming a donor can make a really big difference,” Miranda explained. 
Donating her stem cells was so easy that after the procedure, Miranda was able to make it back to Midwestern University in time for her biochemistry exam the following morning. 
In addition to her biochemistry course, Miranda also is completing courses in gross anatomy and histology, while learning about osteopathic manipulative medicine. 
Miranda noted that her donation experience undoubtedly will enrich her medical school education, and her future career as a physician, by allowing her to better empathize with her future patients.
“Many patients come to hospitals and see providers on some of the scariest days of their lives, while it is a ‘typical’ workday for doctors,” Miranda explained. “I have never experienced a hospitalization or major surgery, so being on the other side of medicine and being the patient was a wonderful reminder of what my patients may be feeling when I see them. We ask patients to go through so much for the sake of diagnosis and treatment. I think that is easy to forget at times when we, as providers, are focused on the small details of medicine.”
Miranda added that the staff at IU Health helped during her donation process by explaining each step along the way and making sure she was as comfortable as possible throughout the experience.
“Those two practices helped ease any anxiety I had about my donation; I hope to create the same type of open dialogue and comfort for my patients in the future,” Miranda said.
Miranda is as excited about medicine now as she was as a 10-year-old poring over her anatomy textbook. All of her experiences have been building to this moment in medical school. 
As an undergraduate at Butler, Miranda worked as a patient care technician while earning her bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences. For a year before entering medical school, Miranda worked as a medical scribe for an Emergency Room doctor and an Orthopedic Surgeon. 
Those doctors inspired Miranda to consider specializing in Emergency Medicine or General Surgery. In the meantime, Miranda’s donation experience has prompted her to pursue a research opportunity.
“My donation experience highlighted how much I really enjoy learning about the structure and processes of bones, so I am hoping to begin research with a professor studying stem cells this coming spring,” Miranda explained.
The former Wildkat thanked her Kokomo teachers for the foundation they provided her that is helping her excel in her new endeavor; she offered a special thank you to the strong, female STEM (Science/Technology/Engineering/Mathematics) teachers who fostered her love of science.
“Looking back, my science and math courses had a large percentage of female students, and strong, female teachers leading them; which unfortunately, is the exception in STEM,” Miranda noted. “Many of my friends in medical school were discouraged from pursuing careers in STEM due to it being a very male-dominated field. I had quite the opposite experience at Kokomo High School. I was very fortunate to have many, many great female role models in STEM who encouraged me to follow my dreams, whatever they might have been.”
Miranda also offered a thank you to her elementary and middle school KEY High Ability teachers who helped her develop the skills necessary to withstand the rigors of medical school.
“My teachers in the KEY program, and then throughout high school, helped to foster a love of learning,” Miranda added. “This is an important skill in all careers but has been especially helpful in tackling the marathon that is the pre-med journey and now medical school. I have learned to love learning, and I could not have done that without my fantastic teachers from Kokomo Schools!”

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