By Maureen Halley
Director, Marketing Communications, Anna Maria College
In keeping with the Anna Maria mission, Anna Maria College’s athletics have partnered with Be The Match, a global leader in connecting patients with donors for life-saving marrow or blood stem cell transplants. You may remember that at this year’s homecoming game, the football team invited six-year old Bryce to join them as they marched through tailgating and onto the field. (You may have seen a smiling Bryce running alongside the team as fast as he could to mid-field!)
A patient on the waiting list, Bryce has Hyper IgM, an immunodeficiency and can’t fight viruses or bacterial infections. Without a matched donor who can provide the live-saving blood stem cells to cure him, Bryce’s life expectancy is in his early 20s. But watching him smile among the towering AMCATS, you’d never know he is a patient awaiting his match.
This past week, the football team, along with men’s ice hockey, women’s basketball and men’s basketball athletes came together in support of Bryce once again. Student athletes along with their coaches attended a Be The Match presentation, registered with the Be The Match directory, and submitted cheek swab samples with the hope that someone would be a donor match for Bryce. There are 39 million people on the Be The Match registry, but there isn’t a known match for Bryce as of today. We hope to change that.
Additional AMCAT teams will be lending their support in the spring semester.
To learn more about Be The Match, or to register to help, visit bethematchbryce.org and enter Bryce’s code #brothersforbryce.