Texas Tech will compete with Baylor for five weeks to increase the number of bone marrow donors on a national registry.
Texas Tech University's Goin' Band from Raiderland began its month-long bone marrow registration contest, Banding Together to Be the Match, with a registration drive event Friday in the Student Union Building.
The kickoff event served as a time for band members and Texas Tech students and faculty to register as potential donors with the national bone marrow registry Be the Match. A display with the story of Gage Klein, a 12-year-old with Fanconi anemia who has become the face of the Goin' Band's drive, was exhibited at the event to promote the importance of bone marrow donors.
Anita Gonzales, community event representative for Cook Children's Health Care System in Fort Worth, said Friday's event had a great turnout among band members and Texas Tech students alike.
“It was a fantastic drive,” Gonzales said. “The kids were excited – not just about the contest, but about making a difference. It made them feel like they're helping out the community.”
Goin' Band director Duane Hill said the band has already received a lot of interest in the contest and cause from the Lubbock and Texas Tech communities.
“It's great that our students get the opportunity to do something that is of service to the community, but at the same time is competitive, which these kids are very accustomed to,” Hill said. “In a short period of time, we've already had a lot of interest in the contest and I think it's great.”
The Goin' Band will be competing with Baylor University for the next five weeks to increase the number of potential bone marrow donors on Be the Match. Potential donors can register at www.bethematch.org anytime from Aug. 28 to Oct. 3, when the winner will be announced at halftime of the Texas Tech vs. Baylor game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. Registrants should include the promo code “ttuband” to give the Goin' Band credit for their registration.
Texas Tech student and Goin' Band member Vince Rodriguez said he looks forward to having the opportunity to save a life, and hopes the competitive aspect of the drive will encourage more students to register.
“I'm really excited about the drive because, in the event that I am a match for one of these patients, I would be so glad to be able to make a difference in somebody else's life,” Rodriguez said. “The Goin' Band is very charitable. Being a part of this means a lot to us because it's such a small time commitment, but it can have a huge outcome.”
Lubbock and Texas Tech community members will have the opportunity to register on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 at the Student Union Building. Registration will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 30 in the Canyon Room and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 1 in the Lubbock Room.
Registered donors must be between 18 and 44 years old and in generally good health. Participants will provide DNA samples by having their cheeks swabbed before being added to the registry.