April 12, 2010
Thousands of college football players across the country will be recruited during the next few weeks through “Get in the Game. Save a Life,” a program aimed at boosting the ranks of potential marrow donors on the Be The Match Registry®.
The program expands on the efforts of Villanova University head Football Coach Andy Talley, who began encouraging his team members to sign up as potential marrow donors 15 years ago. Since then, he’s drafted other football teams to help grow the Be The Match Registry, the world’s largest registry of potential marrow donors and donated cord blood units. Thousands of people with leukemia, lymphoma and other life-threatening diseases depend on the Be The Match Registry to find a match, an unrelated donor who can help give them a second chance at life.
This year, under the banner, “Get in the Game. Save a Life,” Talley and Be The Match® have partnered with 30 college and university football teams to join the cause and help save lives. Each team will host a donor registry drive and will encourage their classmates and friends to join the Be The Match Registry. A majority of the drives will run the week of April 12 through the end of April, including Villanova University’s drive on April 15. This year’s goal is to recruit 5,000 people to the registry.
“By expanding this program to more and more players, we greatly improve the chances that more patients will receive the transplant they need” said Talley. “I admire the dedication of these young men, as well as their coaches, classmates and friends to make this program a success.”
To date, Talley’s efforts have resulted in thousands of potential donors joining the Be The Match Registry and many have been identified as a potential match for a patient, including three Villanova football players.
“For more than 15 years, Coach Talley has been a tremendous asset for raising awareness and recruiting thousands of members to the Be The Match Registry,” said Jeffrey W. Chell, M.D., chief executive officer of the National Marrow Donor Program® (NMDP), which operates the Be The Match Registry. “I’m encouraged to see these college students step up and touch their community in one of the most meaningful ways possible – by giving the gift of life.”
For more information about “Get in the Game. Save a Life,” watch the video on YouTube. Learn more and join the Be The Match Registry by visiting BeTheMatch.org.
About Be The Match
Be The Match is a movement that engages a growing community of people inspired to help patients who need a marrow or umbilical cord blood transplant from an unrelated donor. The National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP), a leader in the field of marrow and cord blood transplantation, created Be The Match to provide opportunities for the public to become involved in saving the lives of people with leukemia, lymphoma and other life-threatening diseases. Volunteers can join the Be The Match Registry – the world’s largest and most diverse listing of potential marrow donors and donated cord blood units – as well as contribute financially to Be The Match Foundation or give their time. For more information, visit BeTheMatch.org or call 1 (800) MARROW-2.