When Kent State University hosts its football rivals from The University of Akron this Saturday, October 20th, the schools will have already been competing for a week in a friendly battle to help people in need of bone marrow transplants.
Students are working this week to gather bone marrow samples for a national registry. Each school has 1,200 kits on hand to collect swabs from people ages 18 to 45 who are in good health. Once the swabs are collected, they're sent to a lab for testing and a determination of whether the individual can be a donor.
Gift of Life director of community engagement, Marti Freund explains why they pursue college-age donors.
"18-to-29 year olds are actually called as matches for patients more than any other age group on the registry, and a large reason for that is because younger donors... patients who receive transplants from younger donors end up doing better in the long run."
Swabs will also be collected at Saturday's football game at Dix Stadium. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m.
Individuals accepted as donors will be contacted by Gift of Life, a bone marrow and blood stem cell registry located in Florida.