Rowan football to host annual “Get in the Game – Be the Match” Donor Registry

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A student scans the QR code to find out more information about the Bone Marrow drive. The football team will be hosting the drive on Wednesday, April 24, at the Chamberlain Student Center. - Photo via Rowan Athletics

For the 16th year, the Rowan football team will be involved with the Andy Talley Bone Marrow Foundation and Be The Match, in hopes of adding donors to the Be The Match Registry. It will be held on April 24 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the second floor of the Chamberlain Student Center as a part of the Get In The Game, Save a Life, Be the Match Registry Drive.

Players from Rowan’s football team will be tabling at the event, in order to get more people to register for the foundation, with the hope that people can eventually become donors.

Jay Accorsi, the head football coach at Rowan, helps in organizing the event with the football team. 

“There’s a luncheon for the Philadelphia football sports writers, the local colleges meet once a week during the football season and it’s usually held at Villanova. Andy, who was the coach, initially reached out to local colleges,” said Accorsi. “I thought it was something our players could be involved in and help, and we’ve been doing it ever since.” 

Accorsi believed it was important to involve the football players in community service activities, especially at a local level. As he stated, everyone has had to deal with relatives with illnesses, such as cancer, so this drive is important in saving someone’s life out there. 

For anyone that does decide to become a donor, they’ll have to go through a specific process in order to collect DNA. Donors must self-swab their cheeks using cheek swab kits, which are then put into little containers and then go off to the national registry.

He also went into the impact that people have had on others due to the fact that they donated during the drive.

“We actually had a player one year, Matt Hoffman, donate and save a 54-year-old man, Warren Salic, from Texas,” said Accorsi. 

The team hopes to see more situations like this appear in the future, especially since donating bone marrow is low risk for the donor, which eventually saves the life of the recipient. According to Healthline, 18,000 people each year need a bone marrow transplant to treat an illness. About 70% of these people who are impacted, do not have suitable donors in their family, so they have to find a way to receive a match. 

The bone marrow that is donated by potential donors are able to help people with blood cancers such as leukemia, lymphoma, and other life-threatening blood diseases like sickle cell and aplastic anemia. 

The Get in the Game, Save a Life Program has used its influence to gain support from over 169 college football teams, which has added 155,000 donors nationwide, and has been responsible for around 880 transplants thus far. 

The Talley Foundation has been operating since 2008 and continues to hold registry drive events throughout colleges across the country. The football team will also give information out to people who are unsure about donating in order to educate the community and get people interested in the foundation. 

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