Owls stage winning drive for marrow registry

Posted: April 16, 2014

STATWISE, IT was the greatest day Adam DiMichele ever had.

The former Temple quarterback, now the Owls' wide receivers coach, helped sign up 225 people for the "Be the Match" bone marrow registry yesterday.

The program, operated by the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP), helps find matches for those in need. According to the NMDP website, a person is diagnosed with a blood cancer every 4 minutes. And, every 10 minutes, someone dies from a blood cancer. Each year, thousands with blood cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma are cured.

Yesterday, DiMichele, Megan Kita and Marc Schaffer were on hand at Temple's Student Center, where 225 newbies had their mouths swabbed. Their DNA will be put in the registry and, if there is a match ,they'll get a call to donate their marrow.

For Temple, it's personal.

On March 22, 2011, Misha Daughtry, the football team's equipment manager, lost a 3-year battle with leukemia.

Kita was Daughtry's college roomate. Schaffer, now a graduate extern in athletic training, worked with her on the team. DiMichele, of course, was on the team.

"Megan did all the work to get us to today," DiMichele said in a release. "People take notice of our football players on campus. Today we asked them, 'Would you like to save a life?' How often do you get to ask someone that question?"

For Kita, yesterday was special.

"[It] was really awesome," she said. "One of the volunteers worked for the hospital when Misha was there. She told a few stories about Misha. You can feel her presence. It gives me chills."

Last year, Schaffer learned he was a match and donated marrow to a 21-year-old with lymphoma.

"I get updates on his health every 6 months and hope to someday meet him," Schafferm said.

For more information, go to BeTheMatch.org.

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