DURHAM, N.H. – University of New Hampshire head football coach Sean McDonnell and his Wildcat football players will take time out from spring practice to host their third annual bone marrow testing drive on Wednesday, May 5, 2010, from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  The event will be held at Holloway Commons on the Durham campus and is open to anyone.  The test is a simple cheek swab and no blood or needles are involved.  Event registration and testing take 20 minutes or less for each person.  

In a two year span, UNH has recorded a greater number of registrants than any other participating school in the northeast and looks to continue this feat by bringing in over 700 participants next week.  The Wildcats join other Division I programs, Villanova University, Temple University, Harvard University, the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Northeastern University, the University of Maine, and Wagner University in the quest to identify potential donors for the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) Registry.

There are 20 million people worldwide who are registered as potential marrow donors. Still, there are only about 250 matches found each year, making it a 1-in-80,000 chance that a registered donor will be a match. In addition, racial and ethnic heritage is an increasingly important factor in the need for donor matches.   Donors of the following ethnic backgrounds are especially needed: Black or African American, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander and Hispanic or Latino.  Patients suffering from leukemia, lymphoma and other life-threatening diseases that can be treated by a bone marrow or cord blood transplant are desperately searching for donors everyday. 

For more information on the bone marrow testing program, please contact Nancy Brown at nancy.brown@unh.edu or (603) 862-1852. For information on the NMDP call 1-800-MARROW-2 or visit www.marrow.org.

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