Eighty-four register for Marrow Donor Program

NORMAN, Okla. -- Bob Stoops was among 84 individuals who placed their names on the National Marrow Donor Program list today during Oklahoma's football media day. A majority of the team followed the lead of the head coach, as did several OU athletics department staff members and at least one representative from the news media.


Stoops and the Oklahoma football program are part of a growing number of people stepping up to register as potential bone marrow donors with the NMDP.

"It's rare when you might get a chance to save a life," Stoops said. "This process could lead to that for someone."

Stoops, who has been regular visitor to children stricken with cancer, got the idea when athletes at Wagner College held a similar registry.

"We didn't pressure our guys to participate," he said. "We just made it available to them. It was nice to see a number of them respond."

Wednesday's registry drew considerable news coverage. The Associated Press, Tulsa World, Oklahoman, KWTV, KFOR, KOKH and KSBI were among those that sent reporters.

"I appreciate those among the media who were willing to help us create an awareness," Stoops added. "We get coverage for a lot of things, but none that are quite as important as matters like this."

Every year, more than 10,000 Americans get life-threatening diseases that can only be cured with a bone marrow transplant from an unrelated donor. The patients do not have a family donor and transplant is their only hope for a cure.

Only 30 percent of patients in need of a marrow or blood cell transplant find a matched donor in their family. The other 70 percent may turn to the NMDP to search for an unrelated donor or cord blood unit.

With his involvement with the OU Children's Hospital, Stoops became familiar with the critical need for bone marrow donors.

Also on hand was Tallie Anderson, a 10-year-old Shawnee resident who has Aplastic anemia and is in critical need of a bone marrow transplant.

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