Washington, D.C. (March 6, 2009) – D.C. United announced today that it was teaming up with Soccer Unites Utah and DKMS Americas to host a bone marrow drive to help find a matching donor for Marcia Williams, wife of Real Salt Lake midfielder Andy Williams. The bone marrow drive will be held on Sunday, March 15 at RFK Stadium from 12 to 5 p.m. Former D.C. United and RSL defender Eddie Pope will be present at the drive from 12-1 p.m., while Ben Olsen will also be making an appearance during the day.
“Every five minutes, someone is diagnosed with blood cancer and every ten minutes, blood cancer takes a life,” said United’s Director of Community Relations Aprile Pritchet. “With statistics such as this, it’s hard to sit back and do nothing. This particularly hits close to home for the Major League Soccer Community with the news of Marcia Williams. D.C. United hopes by supporting Marcia and the 140,000 people who are diagnosed with blood cancer each year, it can do a small part in raising awareness about the need to be screened.”
Williams was diagnosed with an acute form of leukemia last summer and only a bone marrow transplant will save her life. In the last few weeks, Marcia’s blood counts have severely deteriorated and she desperately needs to find a donor match.
A marrow donor must be between the ages of 18 and 55 years and in general good health. The test to identify someone as a donor is non-invasive, and consists of swabbing the person’s cheeks. If the person is identified as a donor, the donation can be done one of two ways: through a blood sample (this is the most common donation), or through a bone marrow extraction from the hip. These donations can help one of the 16,000 people who are desperately waiting for a transplant, among them, Marcia Williams.
DKMS has partnered with Soccer Unites Utah in Salt Lake City and now in Washington, D.C. to help find a life-saving donor match for Marcia’s rare bone marrow tissue type. U.S. Soccer Federation referee Steve Taylor, a veteran with Major League Soccer and Jamaican Ambassador to the United States Anthony Johnson have thrown their support behind Marcia and DKMS and will attend the drive in the Nation’s Capitol.
DKMS was founded in Germany in 1991 and is the world’s largest marrow donor center, with over 1.8 million registered donors. For more information, or to contribute to DKMS, visit their website at www.dkmsamericas.org. For more information about this drive or about donating, please contact Aprile Pritchet at (202) 587-5453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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