MARQUETTE, Mich. – Northern Michigan University will host a \”Be The Match\” event to raise funds and awareness of the need for bone marrow donors. The three campus events will take place from 5-8:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Feb. 4-5 in Vandament Arena, to coincide with the NMU-Lake Superior State hockey series; and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 8, in the Superior Room of the University Center during the Wildcat Wellness Fair.
NMU Director of Athletics,Ken Godfrey, who was diagnosed with leukemia and recently received word of a potential bone marrow match, is hoping to help others facing a similar health crisis by lending his name to the donor registry and fund-raising drive.
“Dr. [Michelle] Shields from the Health Center contacted Ken to see if he would be interested in doing something in his name and it went from there,” said Brian Gaudreau (Intercollegiate Athletics and Recreational Sports). “Ken’s going through the process now and this drive is designed to help someone else down the road. The goals are to recruit new donors for the national ‘Be the Match’ registry and to generate support for the Pay It Forward Funding Program.”
According to the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP), joining the registry involves swabbing one’s cheek cells and tissue typing the sample. It costs Michigan Blood, the organization collaborating on the campus effort, $180 to test each donor. The Pay It Forward program allows organizations and individuals to become supporting members of the NMDP’s “Be the Match” registry by contributing money to help cover testing costs. A minimum $25 tax-deductible gift is encouraged, but any amount will be accepted. Prospective marrow donors are not required to contribute money to join the registry.
Godfrey has worked at NMU for more than 30 years. He was appointed athletic director in 2003.