The registry was part of the Be The Match program that is operated by the National Marrow Donor Program.
“For thousands of people diagnosed every year with life-threatening blood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma, a cure exists,” reads the Be The Match web site. “Over the past 25 years Be The Match has managed the largest and most diverse marrow registry in the world.”
Three years ago Morrisville State College hosted the same registry and had over 100 students and faculty sign up at the time. This year when the opportunity came up to host the event again, Fred Wallace, SAAC advisor, knew that he wanted to get the SAAC committee involved.
For Wallace, its personal – his mother was a bone marrow donor to his uncle. But not every patient has a family match and that’s how the registry was developed in 1979. Wallace is also the head coach of the women’s volleyball team at Morrisville.
“There are a lot of people that don’t have matches and every person counts,” said Elizabeth Marr the vice president of SAAC. Marr also plays first base and is a captain on the softball team.
Wallace said that they were hoping to have more people register on the 22nd than did three years ago. Not even an hour into the event Cailin Dunphy, SAAC president said that they had already had about 20 people register. Dunphy is a two-sport athlete for Morrisville playing both field hockey and women’s lacrosse.
“They aren’t donating right now but the process is just like giving blood, it could save a life,” Dunphy said.
Over 20 student-athletes volunteered their time throughout the day to help sign people up which includes filling out a form with information like address, a contact person and a brief medical history; and a cheek swab.
“It’s a chance to help somebody who could really need it,” Kennedy Cox said of her reason for joining. Cox is member of the women’s basketball team.