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Football Team Aids Fordham Student in Search for Critical Donor Match

Anthony Daniels’ father, Kevin, center, helps out at the Be The Match® registration table.

Anthony Daniels’ father, Kevin, center, helps out at the Be The Match® registration table.

For the second straight year, the Fordham University football squad assisted in helping donors register for the Be The Match® bone marrow registry. But this year the April 15th drive took on a new meaning, as the Rams were doing it for one of their own.

Anthony Daniels, a 22-year-old Fordham student, was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma on Dec. 22, 2011. Since that day, Daniels has continued his studies at Fordham’s Gabelli School of Business while undergoing cancer treatments at Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York City. He is in need of an allogenic transplant, which means that an outside donation of white blood cells is essential for his recovery.

What makes the search more difficult is that Daniel’s donor match will be rare because of his DNA markers, doctors said. Due to the rareness of his white blood cells, increasing the sample size of potential donors is critical. And that’s where the Rams came in.

Greeting people at the door of the McGinley Center lobby, members of the football team encouraged fellow students to register and walked them through the process.

Donors were also able to meet Anthony’s parents, Lori and Kevin Daniels, who helped out with the registration.

“It really means a lot to have his academic and scholastic partners here at Fordham come and support him,” said Kevin Daniels, who said his son has kept on as a full-time student throughout his two-year treatments.

“This was a tremendous opportunity for the student-athletes to do something tangible for one of their fellow Fordham students,” said assistant coach Ian Pace, the coordinator of the event for the football program. “The football student-athletes did a great job encouraging their classmates to register which made for a great turnout.”

The Be The Match Registry® is geared toward increasing the number of potential bone marrow donors. Participants completed a quick registration form and then submitted a simple swab of cheek cells using a cotton swab to determine their tissue type.

Thousands of people with leukemia, lymphoma, and other life-threatening diseases depend on the Be The Match Registry® to find a match, an unrelated donor who can help give them a second chance at life. The registry is operated by the National Marrow Donor Program, which has been helping patients receive the transplants they need for more than 25 years.

-Joe DiBari

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