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News Release

Moravian College Adds 450 to Bone Marrow Donor Registry

Bethlehem, Pa., April 22, 2010—More than 450 members of the Moravian College campus and community ventured to Johnston Hall on Wednesday, April 21 to register for the Be The Match Foundation Bone Marrow Drive.  The event, coordinated by the Moravian College football team, outdrew similar recent efforts by much larger institutions such as Temple University, University of Pennsylvania, West Chester University, and Lafayette College.  Bethlehem Mayor John Callahan, a 1991 graduate of Moravian, attended and registered to be a bone marrow donor during the event.

“The goal of this partnership was to hold a drive and give everyone a chance to join the Be A Match Registry,” said Jeff Pukszyn, assistant head football coach at Moravian. “Our football team set out to recruit at least 10 people each with the potential of being able to join the registry—and they did a great job.  The student athletes were the driving force behind this whole project.”

Each visitor went through a ten minute registration process that included filling out a medical history form and applying a painless cotton swab to the inside of their cheek. “We originally planned for 300 people,” said Scot Dapp, head football coach at Moravian. “When the people starting pouring in, we had to act fast and fortunately recruitment specialist Katiria M. Corraliza was able to get the additional test kits we needed. I believe we ended up with only 11 left over.”

“The coaches and players at Moravian did a great job,” said  Katiria M. Corraliza, recruitment specialist from Community Blood Service in Oradell, N.J. “I was impressed how enthusiastic and well organized they were. They couldn’t have done a better job.”

Corraliza explained that the names of those who registered at the event are added to the national registry of approximately 7 million.  “When a match is identified, the registrant is contacted for further blood testing,” she explained.

Stephen McKinney, director of the Center for Information Technology at Moravian, learned personally what it means to be a bone marrow donor.  He registered years ago at a similar drive and was later contacted as a match.  He provided critical bone marrow to a person that ended up helping save the their life.  “I felt good knowing I was able to help someone by participating in the program,” McKinney noted. “I believe it’s important for people to help others. The person who needs help could be yourself one day.”

The National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) and the Be The Match FoundationSM are nonprofit organizations dedicated to creating an opportunity for all patients to receive the bone marrow or umbilical cord blood transplant. According to the NMDP: Every year, thousands of people of all ages are diagnosed with leukemia and other life-threatening diseases. Many of them will die unless they get a bone marrow or cord blood transplant from a matching donor. Seventy percent of people do not have a donor in their family and depend on the Be The Match Registry® to find a match to save their life. For more information, visit: http://www.marrow.org/index.html