Football rivals team up to 'Be The Match'

Marietta College and Otterbein University will face off against each other on the gridiron this Saturday in the final game of the season for both schools. But prior to Saturday’s game, the two Ohio Athletic Conference foes will join forces to battle blood cancer.

“Be The Match” is teaming up with the Pioneers and Cardinals to create the “Save A Friend Challenge.” The Challenge gets its name from the many friends we are hoping to save, the ones who have already been saved and the ones who will be saved through this life saving effort.

On Wednesday (Nov. 9) a Marrow Donor Registry Drive will be held at Marietta College from 4:30 to 7:00 p.m. in the Gilman Student Center. Anyone ages 18-44 may register. Registration is quick and only requires a simple cheek swab.

Everyone who registers will be eligible to win several prizes including Marietta College football gear and gift cards to local Marietta restaurants. The Registry Drive is open to the general public as our goal is to register as many individuals ages 18-44 as possible.

Otterbein alumna and wife of Pioneer head football coach Andy Waddle, Kerry Jean (Friend) Waddle has already been saved. The friend we are hoping to save with this drive is DiMantae Bronaugh.

DiMantae is a former high school teammate of Pioneer starting quarterback Darrien Fields at Aliquippa High School in Pennsylvania. He was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) in August 2015 and his best chance for a cure is a bone marrow or stem cell transplant.

A nonprofit organization, “Be The Match” is operated by the National Marrow Donor Program in the United States. About 70 percent of the time, a patient who needs a marrow transplant cannot find a match within his/her own family. When that is the case, doctors turn to the National Registry database to find an unrelated donor match.

The Marietta and Otterbein football programs both have histories of battling cancer. Andy and Kerry Jean Waddle have worked with Be The Match previously registering more than 1,000 potential bone marrow donors. Meanwhile the Cardinals, under the direction of head coach Tim Doup, have a longstanding relationship with Lauren’s First and Goal Foundation, hosting the Ohio camp each summer that has raised in excess of $100,000 for pediatric brain tumor research.

Be The Match and Save A Friend!!!