Be The Match Night to Help An Alumnus In Need


Cassie Volkin, Writer

January 11’s basketball game will not only be a chance to see Bob Jones athletes in action, but also an opportunity to help an alumni in need. Brandon Harris, a former Bob Jones basketball player and 2012 graduate, has been diagnosed with two rare blood conditions that will require a blood stem cell transplant. “BJHS Basketball is committed to helping Brandon and is teaming with Be The Match to help raise awareness among our students and community on the importance of bone marrow/blood stem cell donation and the steps involved in becoming a donor,” said Misti Hopkins, vice president of the BJHS Hardwood Booster Club.

Be The Match connects patients with blood cancers like leukemia and other diseases, with genetically matched donors, willing to donate life-saving blood stem cells. Be The Match runs the largest and most diverse donor Registry in the world with over 19 million members. But, every three minutes someone is diagnosed with a blood cancer and 70% of those patients do not have a fully matched donor in their family,” explained Rachel Harris, Be A Match regional representative. “They are depending on Be The Match. More donors with diverse ancestry are especially needed – African Americans have a 23% chance of finding a donor on the Registry compared to Caucasians who have a 77% chance.”

Be A Match is eager to accept people of many backgrounds and ages from 18 to 44. “You could help Brandon or one of the 14,000 patients who search for a donor every year. The guidelines are different than giving blood – no travel restrictions, lived in Europe, etc. And donating is not like what they show on tv! Donation is safe, free and confidential,” said Harris.

“Athletic teams, like our BJ Patriots, have a unique ability to bring people of all backgrounds together for a common cause,” said Hopkins. “We are proud to support Brandon and Be The Match and are hopeful that this outreach will help to raise awareness for this important mission.” Brandon and his family will be at Friday’s basketball game, and Be A Match will have a table set up from 4pm-9pm. For more information, check out this flyer.