The Bison football team partnered with the nonprofit organization Be The Match to host a bone marrow donor registry drive in the Elaine Langone Center on April 3. Be The Match partners donors with recipients suffering from certain blood illnesses. A bone marrow transplant has the potential to be life-saving for the recipient, but significantly fewer people are registered to be bone marrow donors than are registered to donate blood.
This was the fifth time that the University’s football program has hosted this event. The Orange and Blue first took part in the event in 2009, then again in 2011, 2012, 2016, and now 2017.
Approximately 100 people joined the registry in the event, according to head coach Joe Susan. Participants took a DNA swab on the inside of their cheek, which is then analyzed by Be The Match. If the participant is deemed a match for a bone marrow recipient, they are contacted and given the option to donate. Joining the registry is non-binding.
While giving University students the opportunity to offer a life-saving bone marrow donation, the event is also aimed at instilling student-athletes with the values of generosity and service. They are encouraged to recognize their position of privilege as a Bison athlete and to use that position for the greater good. Trey Johnson ’18 has participated in the Be The Match registry twice in his time at the University and recognizes the special chance he and his teammates have to make an impact beyond the University.
“I am personally proud to say that I am a registered member of the Be The Match database, and on behalf of my football team, we are grateful for having the opportunity every year to use our platform on campus to potentially help save lives,” Johnson said.
“In the approach to the student athlete experience, we feel it important that the young men and women understand the concept of community service. To potentially help another individual in need is a characteristic that we want to nurture in the young men in our program. We feel that if we set the standard while they are here that it will be something they repeat as they move through their lives,” Susan said.