The University at Buffalo’s men’s football team was at the student union, Tuesday, encouraging their classmates to “Be the Match” and sign up to become a bone marrow donor.
“Community service is a huge component of our program and we really want our guys to give back to the community and be involved in the community,” said Robert Ianello, the associate head coach for the team.
Ianello says, the team participated in the drive two years ago and got about 100 folks to sign up. Even one of their players, who signed up to be a donor, ended up being a match for someone with cancer.
“It was really shocking to find out that I was going to be a match,” said Matt Otwinowski. “Given the statistics like 1 in 430 and you really don’t think it’s going to be you. It’s really exciting and nerve wracking at the same time.”
Bone marrow donations can be critical for people suffering from blood cancers and disorders like sickle cell and leukemia. Officials say, minorities are particularly in need of donors.
Michael Garbin a “Be the Match” representative, says UB is an ideal place to gather a variety of racially diverse donors.
“We are always looking for young healthy students and an ethnically diverse population, because we tend to match people of similar ethnicity and UB has a little bit of both,” said Garbin.