Towson University football and the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) have announced a league-wide partnership with Be The Match, which manages the largest and most diverse bone marrow donor registry in the world.
CAA Football will join with Be The Match in its efforts to raise awareness of the need for bone marrow donors, increase the number of young, committed potential donors in the registry, and ultimately save lives.
“I am proud that Towson University’s football team will join efforts with all of our other conference members to promote the ‘Be the Match’ program on our campuses,” said head coach Rob Ambrose. “Under the pioneering efforts of Andy Talley and Villanova University, there will be more people than ever signing up to ‘Be the Match’ and make an actual difference for the men and women who need our help. Making a difference through football. That’s why we do it.”
Multiple league schools have already teamed with Be The Match and its ‘Get in the Game, Save a Life’ program, and a number of student-athletes have previously been identified as matching marrow donors. A marrow transplant can be a cure for more than 70 different diseases, including leukemia, lymphoma and sickle cell anemia.
“The work already being done by many CAA Football coaches and student-athletes has been truly inspiring,” said CAA Football commissioner Tom Yeager. “We’re humbled by the opportunity to broaden the relationship with Be The Match across the entire conference.
“College football has an influential platform,” added Yeager. “Through our work with ‘Be The Match,’ we believe that platform can be used to save lives.”
CAA Football’s Be The Match Saturday will take place on a national stage. Three of the league’s games on Oct. 31 will be televised across the country – two on NBCSN, and one on ASN. The networks will participate by educating viewers about the Be The Match mission and on how to join the registry.
In addition, coaches and other sideline personnel will wear Be The Match patches, and in-stadium announcements will further communicate details to fans in attendance.
This spring, all 12 CAA football schools plan to participate in the Get in the Game, Save a Life program by holding Be The Match donor registration drives on campus.
“We are thrilled to partner with CAA football to expand the Get in the Game, Save a Life program and increase awareness of the need for more people to join the registry as potential marrow donors,” said Elizabeth Tornell, Senior Programs and Partnership Specialist at Be The Match. “Every athlete and fan that participates will make a tremendous difference. Together we can inspire hope and deliver more cures for patients.”
Be The Match registers potential bone marrow donors and pairs them with patients diagnosed with life-threatening blood cancers. The organization also provides financial assistance to patients and their families, educates doctors, and supports research to advance the science of marrow transplants.
The Get in the Game, Save a Life program partners with college athletes and coaches to host marrow donor registry drives on college campuses. In 2014 alone, 38 colleges and universities participated in the program and recruited nearly 9,000 new potential marrow donors.