Big Red athletes spearhead blood drive and bone marrow registration drive this week

February 5, 2014

Several Cornell University sports teams are teaming up for a pair of potentially life-saving events this week. Cornell men's and women's lacrosse teams are hosting their ninth annual "Save the Day" blood drive on Thursday with the Dream Factory of Central New York, and multiple teams are involved in Saturday's "Be the Match" bone marrow registration drive.

Thursday's American Red Cross blood drive runs from 11:30am to 4:15pm in Room G10 of the Biotechnology Building, and Cornell lacrosse team members will be on hand as volunteers. Walk-ins are welcome, but organizers encourage donors to schedule an appointment by e-mailing centralnewyork@dreamfactoryinc.org.

Double Red Cell (DRC) donation is an option for donors with blood types O-, O+, A-, and B-, but all types are needed and are welcome. Post-donation refreshments will be available as always, but this blood drive features homemade cookies donated by the Ti-River 4-H group from Homer.

The Dream Factory is a volunteer mission-driven organization that grants the dreams of critically and chronically ill children. If you know a child who might be eligible for a dream, or want more information, visit www.dreamfactoryinc.org or e-mail centralnewyork@dreamfactoryinc.org.

A simple cheek swab and a few forms is all it takes to register as a potential bone marrow donor. Image courtesy of Cornell Athletics.A simple cheek swab and a few forms is all it takes to register as a potential bone marrow donor. Image courtesy of Cornell Athletics.Saturday's bone marrow registration drive will take just ten minutes and a cheek swab. Once in the bone marrow registry, potential donors can be found if their bone marrow is a match for someone who needs a transplant. "When I was younger, my older sister Ashley was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia," says Victoria Pittens, a sophomore on Cornell's women's ice hockey team. "Ashley wasn't fortunate enough to find a donor, and so she passed away."

The bone marrow drive will be held from 3-9pm in Bartels Hall, alongside a number of Cornell athletic events scheduled for the afternoon and evening. Cornell wrestling will take on Columbia at 1pm, women's ice hockey hosts Colgate at 4pm, and women's basketball will be in Newman Arena vs Princeton at 6pm.

Cornell says the men's hockey team, which is traveling to Hamilton on Saturday for an away game at Colgate, will take care of their cheek swabs and registrations beforehand. Fans attending any of the events in Ithaca, or anyone who happens to have ten free minutes, should stop by and join the registry. "You never know. You could be the match, and you could be the difference. You could save someone's life," says Pittens.

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