Join Penn Football in Bone Marrow Screening Project

PHILADELPHIA – A bone marrow screening involves only a simple cheek swab, but has the potential to save a life. The University of Pennsylvania football team, along with Philadelphia’s two other Division I football programs—Villanova and Temple—are recruiting students, fans, alumni and city residents to take part in the quick and easy process that can ultimately save lives.

On Thursday, March 26, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Penn’s Houston Hall on Spruce Street, the Penn football program will be aiding in the project for the second straight year. The local area football teams have set a goal of recruiting 5,000 new members to the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) registry.

With the encouragement of the Penn football team, the University’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee is hoping for more of the school’s athletes to join in on the project. “We are encouraging all of the Penn student-athletes to participate in this cause,” said SAAC President Camille Richard. “This is an opportunity to potentially save lives.”

The opportunity is open to everyone. Donors with diverse racial or ethnic backgrounds are especially critical as patients in need of a transplant are most likely to match someone of their own race or ethnicity.

On any given day, more than 6,000 men, women and children are searching the 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 for a cure.

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 24 college football programs are participating in the program this year.

For questions or more information on Thursday’s bone marrow screening process, please contact the Penn football office at 215-573-9229 or by emailing football@pobox.upenn.edu.

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.