Bone Marrow Registration Drive Held at UVA - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Bone Marrow Registration Drive Held at UVA

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Bone marrow drive held at UVA Amphitheater Bone marrow drive held at UVA Amphitheater

University of Virginia athletes are asking for the public's help to cure rare blood diseases. Monday, the football and track teams partnered to host a bone marrow registration drive.

For some patients with diseases like leukemia or lymphoma, bone marrow transplants may be their only hope of surviving. In order for those transplants to happen though they need donors and that's where UVA athletes come in. The football and track teams hosted a testing drive in UVA's amphitheater Monday.

At the event, people registered to join the national database, got their cheeks swabbed to check their DNA, and registered to be in the bone marrow donor pool. It's all part of the "get in the game, save a life" program.

Mike London, UVA’s head football coach, was on hand for the event. He says the reason people should donate is they could save a life. "I would say to anyone out there who's never wanted to get involved because they thought they wouldn't be the one, they couldn't make a significant difference - you can, and never think that you can't," he stated.

The bone marrow drive is especially personal for London and his daughter Ticynn. Eleven years ago he donated his bone marrow to her after she was diagnosed with a rare blood disorder. The procedure saved her life. London says the odds were 10,000 to one.

“It’s awesome, you know, every time I talk about it I get emotional,” he stated.

"This means a lot to me because I benefited from this and if I didn't have a bone marrow donor I might not be here today" Tycinn stated.

Organizers say they need more donors to join the national registry because finding a match isn't easy. "It’s kind of like finding a needle in a haystack, we're trying to add more needles to that haystack," said event organizer Dan Gariapy.

London has even brought some of his players on board. Last year fourth-year defenseman David Marrs donated his bone marrow. “Life changing,” he stated. “It was a great experience; it's opened my eyes to what we're able to do as human beings, literally saving someone's life."

"All it takes is one person or one match or one person that could possibly have a life saving effect on another person,” Coach London stated.

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