On April 16, the West Chester University Golden Rams football team, along with Alpha Phi Omega, will be sponsoring the Bone Marrow Donor Program. The testing will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Ballroom A of Sykes Student Union.”We are trying to join with other programs in the area to get as many names on the bone marrow donor list as possible,” head coach Bill Zwaan said. “We need to increase the list of possible donors as the chances for matches are very slim.”
There are about 30 teams lined up to participate in the program and the goal is to test 5,000 people like last year. In the past year, three players were matches. The players came from Villanova, Rowan and Wagner.
“Three local football players were matches last year,” Zwaan said. “One of them matched a young child. Think about how that family feels today because of that young man’s decision to get involved.”
“The more names the better chance we may be able to save someone’s life,” Zwaan added. “We especially need to increase the number of minority names on the list. The football team is a great source to get the word out and get people to volunteer to sign up.”
The National Marrow Donor Program has facilitated 35,000 transplants to give patients a second chance at life. Seventy percent of patients do not have a donor in their family. They depend on help from others. When you join the NMDP registry, you become part of every patient’s search for a donor. You have the power to heal. You could be the one to save a life.
Every day, thousands of patients with leukemia and other life-threatening diseases hope for a marrow donor who can make their transplant possible.
Testing is very easy. There are no needles involved. There is just a cotton swab of the mouth and it takes about ten minutes.
“It is easy to do and you could be the difference in saving someone’s life,” Zwaan said. “I hope everyone who can will get involved.”
This Friday is your chance to sign up to save a life. GET IN THE GAME AND SAVE A LIFE.
LJ Harrell is a fourth-year student majoring in Marketing. He can be reached at LH639694@wcupa.edu.