NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA-For the second year in a row, the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's football team is teaming up with the Be The Match Registry to host a marrow donor registration event. The event will take place in Woodland Commons on Monday, April 29th between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.
The effort is part of the "Get in the Game, Save a Life" program started more than 15 years ago by Villanova Head Football Coach Andy Talley in an effort to help in the fight against leukemia, lymphoma and other blood disorders by educating people about the need for marrow donors. The program has recruited thousands of members to the registry by encouraging football teams and their friends to join-last year, more than 8,500 people joined through the drive. UMass Dartmouth is one of approximately 30 college football teams participating in the program.
"This is the second time we've done it, and it was successful last year," said UMass Dartmouth Head Football Coach Mark Robichaud. "We would like to improve upon our numbers, and we will try to make it an annual event."
The Corsairs got involved with the program last year after the nursing program at UMass Dartmouth got involved with the Rhode Island Blood Center and had a bone marrow drive, and then a UMD football player, (senior linebacker) Edwin Sustache (Westfield, MA/Holyoke HS), made contact with people involved with the program. "Last year, I had several meetings with the people who are with the Rhode Island Blood Center, and I 'spoke with Andy Talley," said Robichaud.
Robichaud said the goal is to sign up more people. "The idea is to increase the number of people in the National Bone Marrow Registry, and the best donors are healthy adults between the ages of 18 and 25, so college students and student-athletes are ideal. When people hear about it, they may get nervous. It will entail a 10 minute process. About nine minutes is filling out paperwork, and there is also a self-administered cheek swab. That's all you need to do."
In order to register, you must be between the ages of 18 and 44, in good general health and willing to donate to any person you may match to join the registry. Registration requires only paperwork and a cheek swab. There is no out of pocket cost to join the registry,-please bring your health insurance information when you come to register. Certain medical conditions will make people ineligible to join. For more information, contact Jennifer St. Peter at 401-248-5762 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
UMASS DARTMOUTH ATHLETICS