QU Field Hockey Volunteers at 4th Annual Be The Match- Quinnipiac Bone Marrow Drive

HAMDEN, Conn. – All 21 current members of the Quinnipiac field hockey team volunteered at the 4th annual Be The Match – Quinnipiac Bone Marrow Drive on Wednesday, March 20. The Bobcats partnered with the sisters of Kappa Alpha Theta to sponsor the event held on the Mount Carmel campus.

Wednesday marked the fourth straight year the Field Hockey team has sponsored the Be The Match – Quinnipiac Bone Marrow Drive. The Bobcats assisted with everything from signups at the event, promoting the process, demonstrations for potential donors and were available to answer any questions throughout the event. In all, Wednesday's bone marrow drive added 66 new donors to the Be The Match registry which creates the potential for 66 more chances to save a life. After four years of volunteering, the field hockey team has helped bring in more than 250 registered donors through the Quinnipiac Bone Marrow Drive.

"This was such a great opportunity for our girls and for the Be The Match registry," said Quinnipiac field assistant coach Cheryl Canada. "We helped bring the Quinnipiac community together in hopes that one day the registry will find a match. Just our team alone has brought in more than 250 donors and everything we do here will be worth it if we find that one match."

The Be The Match Registry is operated by the National Marrow Donor Program. Courtesy of the official Be The Match website, each year, 10,000 patients with leukemia, lymphoma and many other life-threatening diseases need a marrow transplant from an unrelated donor but only half receive one.  Just in 2011, 650,000 new potential donors were added to the Be The Match Registry, including 254,000 with diverse ancestry.

People all around the world have taken the time to register and all it takes is a cheek swab to become a registered potential donor. Patients need donors who are a genetic match. Even with a registry of millions, many patients cannot find a match. A bone marrow transplant is a life-saving treatment for people with blood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma, sickle cell and other life-threatening diseases. First, For a patient's body to accept healthy blood-forming cells, the patient needs a donor who is a close match.

About one in 540 members of the Be The Match Registry in the United States will go on to donate bone marrow to a patient. One of those thrilling life-saving moments occurred recently for Quinnipiac women's ice hockey senior goalie Victoria Vigilanti. She recently received an email saying she was a match for a patient in need.

"When I got the email I was ecstatic," Vigilanti said. "It was just an overwhelming feeling knowing that I could save someone's life and just by a simple signup I was make someone so happy. I'm glad I did it and I wouldn't change it for the world."

The field hockey team is planning on volunteering once again for the fifth straight year in October 2013 as well as in April 2014. Please visit www.marrow.org for more information regarding the Be The Match and how to donate yourself.

Contact: Maxx McNall; maxx.mcnall@quinnipiac.edu