The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Lafayette football partners with nonprofit Be The Match, produces life-saving results

The Lafayette football team signed up over 260 volunteers for the Be The Match database. (Photo courtesy of @LafColFootball on Twitter)

While the Lafayette football team had a bye this past week, they remained active in the community by hosting a donation drive for the nonprofit “Be The Match” in Farinon. Be The Match is an organization dedicated to researching possible bone marrow solutions for blood cancers like leukemia, sickle cell anemia and lymphoma.

The procedure to become registered in the Be The Match database and possibly help with blood stem cell transplants takes two minutes, is painless and can make an incredible impact on the life of a stranger. Former player and class of 2022 graduate Ty Hranicka, who happened to be a genetic match, went through the donation process.

“It is a great feeling to help save someone’s life and certainly puts things that happen in my personal life in perspective,” Hranicka said. “I am greatly appreciative to be able to help out. Be The Match is a fantastic organization and took care of me throughout the entire process.”

For the team, this event hits even closer to home this year with senior Joey Gillette announcing that his Non-Hodgkin lymphoma had returned.

“With Joey being diagnosed once again, it further emphasizes how important it is to spread awareness about this. That is our brother and teammate, so to see him impacted provides a tremendous amount of motivation to help,” Hranicka said. “These diseases can affect anybody. The more people in the registry, the more we can help.”

“I think that our guys felt really passionate about it, not only because of Joe, but also a lot of players on the team have family members or know people who’ve had cancer, so there was a lot of motivation across the board,” director of Football Operations Maddie Rodgers added.

Be The Match has had a partnership with the Lafayette football team since before COVID-19. The new coaching staff has aided this initiative with renewed vigor.

“Now that I am graduated, I am extremely happy to see the team continue carrying on this event. I love and respect that Coach Trox has kept this tradition. It was awesome to see a lot of guys take to social media to spread awareness and promote the event,” Hranicka said.

Seniors Malik Hamm, Jyaire Stevens and Ryan Dengler, as well as freshman Spencer Adams, help spread awareness for bone marrow research. 
(Photo courtesy of @LafColFootball on Twitter)

“[Be The Match] works with a ton of colleges across the country and they said that we did a really good job,” Rodgers said. “They said that normally, on average, they will have about 120 swap kits done per Be The Match event that they participate in, and we were able to get over 260. I would say that our event was relatively successful.”

After a week off where the Lafayette community showed support for this important cause – 269 more people joined the registry as a result of the community’s efforts – the Leopards will face Holy Cross tomorrow with renewed strength.

“I went through the entire process already and I would gladly do it again. I highly recommend that everyone joins the registry and helps those in need. This organization offers the opportunity to save lives in ways that few can,” Hranicka said. “I would love to see this tradition continue at Lafayette and hope that will stay the case for years to come.”

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Charlie Berman
Charlie Berman, Sports Editor

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