Adding Donors... Saving Lives... One Campus at a Time
Villanova head football coach Andy Talley would like to formally announce to all Wildcat Fans the creation of The Andy Talley Bone Marrow Foundation [http://talleybonemarrow.org]. Coach Talley has recently started the foundation to support the "Get in the Game and Save a Life" campaign sponsored by the National Marrow Donor Program-Be The Match Registry. Coach Talley's mission with his Bone Marrow Foundation is to "promote bone marrow testing awareness, as well as organize, host and fund bone marrow donor tests across college campuses nationwide." Coach Talley has worked closely with the National Marrow Donor Program for the past 19 years, and hosts a testing site on Villanova University's campus each spring. Athletics Director Vince Nicastro states: "Coach Talley has made a real impact on the Villanova Community in many ways during his time here as head football coach, however his tireless work on the bone marrow program may end up being his most enduring legacy. Through his work, many lives have already been saved and the Foundation will provide for many in future generations."
Along with the creation of The Andy Talley Bone Marrow Foundation, Coach Talley would like to announce three exciting events to take place on Villanova's Campus during the spring of 2011. "Now that I have a Foundation, the potential to save lives through the Andy Talley Bone Marrow Foundation is so exciting and has created a chance for the Villanova community to get involved" stated Talley. "Both the BASH and the 5k run are wonderful opportunities to personally be involved in raising both bone marrow awareness and much needed funds to do more testing." The three events, listed below, provide many ways for everyone to be involved. "I encourage all Villanovan's to participate in these events," stated AD Vince Nicastro.
Bone Marrow BASH- 2/26/2011
The Inaugural event for the Coach Andy Talley Bone Marrow Foundation will be a Bone Marrow Foundation BASH to be held on Saturday night, February 26th. The event will begin at 7PM on Villanova's campus in the Villanova Room of the Connelly Center. The BASH will feature music from the Chatterband, as well as dinner and drinks, a raffle and silent auction. Tickets are $50.00 per person and all proceeds from the event will go directly to the Foundation. To purchase tickets, click HERE.
Andy Talley Bone Marrow Foundation 5K-4/9/2011
Coach Talley would also like to announce the Inaugural Andy Talley Bone Marrow Foundation 5K Race. The 5K will take place on Villanova's campus on Saturday morning, April 9th at 10AM. The 5K run will take place on the beautiful main line campus, and will feature a USATF certified course. The start of the race will begin in the Villanova Football Stadium on the Jumbo Elliot Track. Parking is free! All bib timing will be run by NOVA Timing Systems. Refreshments and tee-shirts will be available for all participants. Awards will be given to the overall male and female winners plus the top 3 in ten year age groups: 13 & under through 70 & over, as well as top 3 male and female walkers!
Entry fee for all pre-registrants will be $20.00 if received by 4/6/2011, after and day of registration will be $25.00. Student pre-registrant fee will be $16.00 if received by 4/6/2011, after and day of registration for students will be $20.00. To register in advance, click HERE.
Villanova's Bone Marrow Testing Day- 4/14/2011
Coach Talley and the Villanova Football Team will once again host a bone marrow testing drive on Villanova's Campus on Thursday, April 14th in the Villanova Room of the Connelly Center. Testing will take place from 10AM to 4PM. The slogan for this year's testing will once again be "Get in the Game and Save a Life." Since 1992, Coach Talley's efforts in bone marrow testing have resulted in over 20,000 potential donors being successfully tested and entered into the national registry. 30 College Football teams across the country will also once again be involved with hosting their own Bone Marrow Testing Days on campus in the spring. Local teams involved include: University of Pennsylvania, Temple, Lehigh and Delaware. Others include: Bowling Green, San Jose State, Harvard, and Yale to name a few.
Andy Talley Bone Marrow Foundation: Success Stories
Through the work of Coach Talley, there have been many success stories nationwide, and over 20,000 have been tested through the "Get in the Game and Save a Life" campaign. Villanova University students take great pride in giving back to the community. Every spring Villanova students support the National Marrow Donor Program. Despite the growing registry, there are typically only 250 matches found each year, which makes it a 1-in-80,000 chance that a registered donor will be a match. Considering the odds, two current Villanova University students were matched as donors within the past year.
Senior Football/Baseball stand-out Matt Szczur helped save a 19-month-old little girl with leukemia. The two sport student-athlete joined the "Be The Match" registry as a freshman and was matched in Fall of 2009. Szczur did not hesitate to take time out of his collegiate playing career, and was prepared to give up the 2009 FCS National Football Championship game to donate his life saving bone marrow. Due to additional time needed for the patient, the bone marrow transplant date was pushed back to the Spring of 2010, when Szczur missed 10 games of his Villanova baseball season while preparing and recovering from the transplant. While there is no guarantee the little girl will make a full recovery, Szczur remains hopeful. He is quoted, " I whole-heartedly believe that she is going to be okay and hopefully one day I will be able to meet her and her family." He then added, "I can't wait for the day when she is well enough to come to one of my games and see me play."
Villanova sophomore Greg Lattanzi, a Finance and Accounting major from Alpharetta, Georgia, is also a bone marrow donor. Greg is a student volunteer with the Villanova Emergency Medical Services (VEMS) unit and Radnor Township, Pennsylvania Fire and Ambulance Squad. He joined the "Be the Match" registry last spring at Villanova's Bone Marrow Registry Day. Greg knows all about saving lives, and he registered to donate his bone marrow because he knew it was the right thing to do. During Lattanzi's senior year of high school, one of his good friends was battling Leukemia and missed a good portion of their senior year. Lattanzi, as a Villanova freshman, knew joining Coach Talley in the fight to save lives, was one way to honor his friend. Little did he know, he would be called just two short months later to save a 15 year old girl's life. After preparing for the transplant during the summer, Greg Lattanzi donated more than a liter of his bone marrow at Hahnemann University Hospital in September 2010. From what he knows now, the operation was successful, and Greg found out six weeks after the procedure that the girl was doing well! Greg Lattanzi is quoted saying that the whole experience was "awesome," and attributes his ability to save a young girl's life to Coach Talley and his work with the Bone Marrow Registry!
The Andy Talley Bone Marrow Foundation appreciates the continued support received from the Villanova students, staff, community and the many schools participating in the "Get in the Game and Save a Life" program. Both Matt and Greg have donated and saved lives in the past year, as a result of the testing on Villanova's campus. And just recently, Coach Talley has found out that two additional football players have been contacted through the registry as matches and are in the beginning stages of the bone marrow transplant testing process! It is through the work of Coach Andy Talley and now his Andy Talley Bone Marrow Foundation that matches will continue to be found, and lives will be saved for generations to come.
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