Match MakersGAMBIER, Ohio (April 15, 2011)
Lords football players along with Katie Fee '11 of Westchester, New York, and Emily Smith '11 of Mount Vernon, Ohio, have teamed up to organize Kenyon's first Be The Match drive on Sunday at the Kenyon Athletic Center.
The Be The Match Registry is run by the National Bone Marrow Program and joining the registry is quick and easy. The registry provides bone marrow and umbilical cord blood to help patients fight leukemia and other life-threatening diseases. The need for bone marrow and cord blood transplants is great because 70 percent of patients with these diseases cannot find a blood match in their families.
Be The Match has about 9 million donors and 145,000 umbilical cord units, making it the world's largest and most racially and ethnically diverse blood registry in the world, but the demand continues to exceed what's available through the registry.
Fee became involved after a family experience showed her the need for the program. "My aunt was blessed to be one of seven kids with an older brother who was a match," she said. "She had her transplant and now is home with her family recovering. This procedure truly saved her life. Since her transplant I've heard countless stories about families who aren't nearly as lucky."
The Lords football team is one of about thirty college football programs in the nation joining the cause through the program Get in the Game, Save a Life. This program was started by Andy Talley, football coach at Villanova University. Each team hosts a drive encouraging and recruiting students to register with Be The Match. This year's goal is to recruit 5,000 people for the registry.
Donors who join the registry must be eighteen years old, and they remain a potential donor until age sixty. To register, donors fill out a medical-history form with contact information. The blood information is collected by taking several cheek swabs. The donor's information will be double-checked and a Be The Match coordinator will be available to field questions.
By Cate Flanagan '11