In 2011, two Penn football players saved two lives due to the team's annual 'Be the Match' bone marrow drive. On Wednesday, the Quakers helped sign up more volunteers for the same opportunity.
Participation as a potential registry member involves a painless mouth swab at the local drive. Those that join could save the life of an adult or child hoping to cure a life-threatening disease.
The annual screening project was started by Villanova Head Football Coach Andy Talley, who has dedicated more than 15 years to raising awareness about the need for marrow donors. With “Get in the Game. Save A Life”, Talley aims to increase the likelihood that all patients receive the life-saving transplant they need. In addition to Penn, more than 25 college football programs are participating in the program this year.
Just a few years ago, former Penn teammates Robert Gawlas and J.P. Grant, were bone marrow matches for two seperate individuals in need of life-saving treatment. Both Quakers agreed to help and you can read about their stories here.
Penn is in the midst of Spring Football season. The 2014 Spring Game is set for Saturday at 4 p.m. The game is open to the public and admission is free.
About the NMDP
The NMDP facilitates unrelated marrow and cord blood transplants as a single point of access for a long-standing collaborative network of national and international leading medical facilities in marrow and cord blood transplantation. The NMDP connects patients, doctors, donors and researchers to the resources they need to help more people live longer and healthier lives. For more information call 1(800) MARROW-2 or visit www.marrow.org.