By Lakota Monzo, Contributing Writer
The UMF Women’s soccer team hosted a successful Bone Marrow Registry drive in the Olsen Student Center last week to support USM soccer player Ally Little.
Little is a student at University of Southern Maine (USM) who has been diagnosed with Severe Aplastic Anemia and needs a bone marrow transplant. “We hope to find a match to our fellow soccer player, Ally,” said soccer team member Lydia Roy.
The UMF women’s soccer team plays USM during their non-conference season. “When we heard about Ally’s situation we wanted to help in any way that we could,” said soccer team member Sophie Manning. After hearing that USM’s drive went well, the team wanted to see if they could do the same at UMF.
“There’s a lot of prep work for this event,” said Roy. To get ready for the event the team promoted the drive during lunch hours, and also handed out flyers around campus.
“All of this preparation is time consuming,” said Roy, “and there is a lot of uncertainty involved.” She hopes that the end results will make everything worth it though.
One of the biggest hurdles the team faced was informing everyone how the drive actually works. “Many people hear the words bone marrow drive and they immediately think about huge needles being stuck in them,” said Manning, “this, however, is the old way, and is only really used for about 20% of the procedures nowadays.”
The process takes about ten to fifteen minutes, in which paperwork is filled out then the inside of the cheek is swabbed. After that the person becomes apart of the registry and has the chance to save a life if they match with someone.
“The team is hoping to get anywhere from 100 to 200 people to join the registry,” said Manning. Tallies following the drive confirm that the team met their goal with a total of 139 participants.
The soccer team was at the event all day helping out in any way they could and answering questions that had come up.
The biggest point the UMF women’s soccer team is trying to get across is for people to join the national registry. This will help people who need a bone marrow transplant to find their matches.
Anyone who missed the drive but is interested in joining the Bone Marrow Registry to potentially become a donor can visit bethematch.org for more information.