PHILADELPHIA – The Temple football team took a break from spring practice on Wednesday to register approximately 410 potential donors for the Be The Match Registry, the new name for the National Marrow Donor Program Registry, at Temple University
's Howard Gittis Student Center.
The team's bone marrow drive is in its third year. Last spring, TU added 230 potential donors to the registry list. During its inaugural drive in 2008, Temple set the national record for a collegiate team by registering 630 potential donors. In three years, Temple has registered 1,270 potential donors.
“What an incredible day for the Temple University
community as the Owls registered 410 bone marrow donor candidates!" Temple head coach Al Golden
said. “Thank you to Director of Player Development Ryan McNamee, who did an incredible job spearheading the event once again, our coaches, support staff, and all of our football student-athletes who generously gave their time and effort to this wonderful cause. Special recognition must go to Villanova coach Andy Talley who has been instrumental in bringing awareness to the marrow donor program and saving lives for the past two decades.Lastly, we want to express our sincere appreciation to our student body and the Temple Family for making this such a special day. ”
In conjunction with the Temple Bone Marrow Transplant Program, the Temple team helped donors fill out paperwork. Then each had a simple cheek swab test. No blood or needles were involved. Then everyone was treated to free food, door prizes, and conversation with the football players and staff.
Coordinated locally by Villanova coach Andy Talley, this year's drive received commitments from 30 college football programs which will join in the screening process. This year's goal of the "Get in the Game and Save a Life" program is to test 5,000 people. Last year, the spring testing resulted in 8,022 people being entered into the national registry.
Other schools in the region will hold registries this month: Duquesne (April 14), Villanova (April 15), Lafayette (April 16), West Chester (April 16), Lehigh (April 22), Yale (April 22), Maine (April 26), Rhode Island (April 29), Indiana U of PA (April 29), Vanderbilt, Bowling Green, Harvard, Brown, James Madison, Delaware, Richmond, Holy Cross, Colgate, and Old Dominion. Penn (374 registered donors), Virginia (242), Massachusetts (178), and Ursinus (176) have already held their drives this month.
There are 20 million people worldwide who are registered as potential marrow donors. Still, there are only about 250 matches found each year, making it a 1-in-80,000 chance that a registered donor will be a match.
On any given day, more than 6,000 men, women and children are searching the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) Registry for a life-saving donor. These patients have leukemia, lymphoma, and other life-threatening diseases that can be treated by a bone marrow or cord blood transplant. For many of these patients, a transplant may be the best and only hope of a cure.
Why did you want to participate in Temple Football's Third Annual Bone Marrow Drive?
DB Josh Hutchison (Hollidaysburg, Pa.), R-Senior
“It's important to everyone in the football program. Everyone knows someone with cancer. I know someone with cancer. We went through it with a manager-- Misha-- here. She needed a bone marrow transplant. It's a really important thing to do and get out there to try and help people.”
DL Eli Joseph (Hartford, Conn.), Senior
“I wanted to get the word out to other people to help save a life. It doesn't hurt to get your cheek swabbed. It takes five minutes of your time.”
WR Dy'Onne Crudup (New Haven, Conn.), R-Senior
“Basically, to help save a life. There are too many people out there dying from cancer. As Temple football, we like to help out the community.”
Mary Crawford (Doylestown, Pa.), Junior, Nursing major
“I just wanted to see if I could help someone out.”
Sarah Stotsky (Hollidaysburg, Pa.), Freshman, Psychology major
“I thought that if I were in a situation where I needed someone donate to me, that I would want to help people out by donating to them.”
Jennifer Stanley (Hollidaysburg, Pa.), Freshman, Criminal Justice major
“I just want to help people. If this is the only way I get a chance to do that, then hopefully I can help someone.”
Alex Samuelian (Medford Lakes, N.J.), Graduate Student, Sports Administration major
“I thought it was a good cause. It was painless, and hopefully I can donate.”
Rebekah Gingras, Academic Coordinator for football
“It's a good idea to support any organization that's trying to save lives. I actually have a personal connection. My sister-in-law's brother actually died from leukemia when he was a young child, because they couldn't find a match for him. I figured if I could be a match for someone else to prevent that tragedy from happening to another family, that's what I'm going to do.”