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Bone Marrow Drive Great Success

By Jody Record, Campus Journal Editor
May 14, 2008

When people flocked to the Lundholm Gymnasium last week for an event hosted by the football team, it wasn’t to watch them play ball.

On Friday, May 9, the Wildcats and head coach Sean McDonnell hosted a bone marrow drive, joining several other Division I schools in the national campaign to identify potential donors.

“We had a great response; it was tremendous,” McDonnell said. “There were athletes, students, faculty, staff; more than 360 people showed up. It just goes to show the kind of people we have here.”

According to McDonnell, a coach at Villanova University got involved in the National Marrow Donor Program several years ago, prompting other Division I schools to participate. Friday’s event marked the first time UNH has been involved. Other Division I schools that participated in testing included Villanova, Temple University, Harvard University, the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Northeastern University, the University of Maine, and Wagner University.


" The event was a huge success. The football team members were tremendous facilitators and recruiters. The UNH community came out in a big way,” said Betty Kelly, account executive for the National Marrow Donor Program.

Bone marrow is a jelly-like tissue in which blood cells are made. During a transplant, healthy marrow replaces diseased tissue through a process similar to a blood transfusion. Registering to be a donor requires a simple blood test.

More than 6,000 people a day search the national registry in hopes of finding a match. This includes people suffering from leukemia, lymphoma and other immune-deficiency diseases.

Approximately 20 million people around the world have registered as potential bone marrow donors and yet only about 250 matches are found each year, making it a 1-in-80,000 chance that someone in need of a transplant will find a match.

“We were really happy to participate,” McDonnell said. “This is a process the kids could really buy into, knowing they could do something that could save a life.”

For more information on the bone marrow testing program, visit the National Bone Marrow Donor Program website at www.marrow.org


 


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