Cavaliers Team Up For Annual Bone Marrow Drive

By: Lindsay Joy Email
By: Lindsay Joy Email

The "Get in the Game. Save A Life" program is a cause that's personal to Virginia head football coach Mike London. Now, it's also a cause that is personal to the UVa track and field team, which is why the Cavaliers will be helping on Monday at UVa's annual bone marrow registration drive.

Junior pole vaulter Sarah DeVita was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia after her first year at UVa. DeVita didn't need a bone marrow transplant, because her combination of medicines worked to keep her Leukemia manageable, but her diagnosis inspired her team to get involved with the annual bone marrow drive.

"Her whole situation kind of led us to start thinking, how can we do our part to help?" said track and field coach Bryan Fetzer. "The bone marrow drive is really simple. There's no needles involved, you're not giving blood, you're not doing anything like that. You're just registering to see if there's a possibility to have a match down the road."

Mike London knows firsthand what it's like to be a match. He gave his daughter a bone marrow transplant more than a decade ago, after she was diagnosed with a rare blood disorder.

"When you have a chance to save a life or being significant in a person getting better, there is no better opportunity than to do something like that," London said.

In his time at UVa, London has seen support for the cause grow immensely.

"It's something that's been very rewarding, as far as our team is concerned," he said. "The community here around Charlottesville, particularly the students, have been fantastic with coming out and supporting the drive."

As a result of the drive, at least six people have been matched and donated. For London, the bigger the team and the more support for the cause, the better.

"We applaud some of the student groups that are going to help us, I understand there's a fraternity and a sorority, the track team, and there will be others that stop by and want to lend a hand. We'll take all the help we can get. Our players will be there, and excited about engaging the community."

The drive will take place Monday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the McIntire Amphitheatre, located on the south end of The Lawn.

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