CEDAR CITY, Utah — Be the Match is coming to SUU to add students to the bone marrow registry and they’re enlisting the help of the SUU football team.
The organization will be in the Rotunda on April 17 to encourage students to sign up as potential bone marrow donors. SUU football players will act as ambassadors for Be the Match in their drive to increase awareness.
Be the Match is a collection of more than 20 million donors worldwide. The registry helps connect patients in need of a transplant to volunteers that can help save their life.
The organization travels around the U.S. increasing the size of their registry and thus increasing the chances of a potential match.
Every three minutes a person in the U.S. is diagnosed with blood cancer, according to Be the Match Presenter John Philpott. Bone marrow transplant is the most effective cure and Be the Match seeks to find potential candidates to save lives via a bone marrow donation.
Philpott, who survived leukemia himself, gave a presentation to the SUU football team with a focus on diversity. Many matches are found based on similar ancestral backgrounds, but the percentage of minorities on the registry is very small.
Patients of caucasian descent have a 76% chance of finding a match. African-American patients have a 23% chance of connecting with a donor and the percentages of other minorities are smaller.
Be the Match often presents to athletic departments because of the rich diversity found within. Players are encouraged to sign up for the registry and to reach out to friends and family and help them sign up as well.
SUU football players will be in the Sharwan Smith Student Center on April 17 answering questions and helping students see the benefit of signing up for the registry.
All SUU students can begin the process to sign up for the registry by texting “SUU” to 61474 or by visiting joinbethematch.org/SUU.
Story and Photo by: Connor Sanders