Kickers Host Bone Marrow Drive.

The Richmond Kickers will host a Bone Marrow Drive through the National Marrow Donor Program of Virginia on the main concourse during the Kickers exhibition match featuring D.C. United of Major League Soccer on Tuesday, June 19th. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. (gates open at 5:30 p.m.) at the University of Richmond Stadium.

The Bone Marrow Drive will benefit former Hermitage High School and University of Illinois soccer player Laura Redmond who was diagnosed with leukemia in April. The $25.00 fee to join the registry will be waived for the first 100 people to volunteer.

The National Bone Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) helps people who need a life-saving marrow or blood cell transplant, connecting patients, doctors, donors and researchers to resources they need to help more people live longer, healthier lives. The Kickers Bone Marrow Drive strives to locate potential donors not only for Redmond, but also for other leukemia patients.

The initial screening process is brief and virtually painless. Participants, who must be 18 or older, will be asked to complete a short medical survey with the test requiring a cotton swabbing on the inside of the cheek.

A transplant requires matching tissue types between patient and donor. These tissue types are inherited, but 70% of patients do not have a matched donor in the family. With millions of potential donors on the Registry, the likelihood of finding an unrelated donor has increased dramatically for patients of all racial and ethnic groups. Nevertheless, some patients are unable to find a match because of the rarity of their tissue types.

Because tissue types are inherited, their most likely match is with someone from the same racial or ethnic group. The pressing need remains for more people who identify themselves as American Indian, Alaska Native, Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, or multiple-race to volunteer as donors.

For more information about bone marrow donation, contact the National Marrow Donor Program of Virginia at (804) 288-9483 or visit www.marrow.org .

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