May 12, 2010
FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Head coach Chris Blais and her Sacred Heart University field hockey team organized that Be The Match Challenge, a conference-wide effort to gain bone marrow donations. In all, six Northeast Conference teams participated in the event. The Pioneers received the second most donors with 137, while Saint Francis (PA) totaled the most donors with 217.
The donor drive took place throughout March and April at member campuses. The bone marrow drive resulted in more than 650 people signing up for the national Be The Match registry, which services patients in need of a marrow transplant that do not have a matching donor in their family. These patients need to find a matching unrelated donor that is willing to donate stem cells on their behalf.
Here are the individual school donor tallies:
Saint Francis (PA): 217
Sacred Heart: 137
Robert Morris: 80
Bryant: Drive was postponed until September due to local flooding on day the drive was scheduled
“What a great event,” said Blais. “We are incredibly pleased with the results of the first annual Be The Match Challenge and are grateful to the participating conference teams. What a great display of teamwork, sportsmanship, and compassion! The results exceeded our expectations and show the value of what a community of people can accomplish when you bring them together. Thank you to the Siena, Quinnipiac, Bryant, Saint Francis, and Robert Morris field hockey team!”