After two years off due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the University of Montana Grizzly Football team is back asking for public participation in the ‘Be the Match Registry’.

Sports Information Director for Grizzly football Eric Taber provided details as he was heading out the door to be part of the Grizzly Football Spring Game Friday night in Hamilton.

“We've done it once before, but then COVID kind of put the brakes on it but we're back this year but it's just a great deal,” began Taber. “The University of Montana football team will be out on campus around the campus community at the UC and in the Oval on April 21st, doing a ‘Be the Match’ registration drive, which is getting people to sign up to be on the National Bone Marrow Donor Registry.”

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Taber explained what happens when you sign up for the registry.

“Basically what you're doing is if there's a cancer patient out there or someone that is in need of a marrow donation or a blood cell donation or whatever that may be, this is a national registry and you could potentially match with someone and save their life,” he said. “So it's a really cool deal and it's healthy. In the past we've had two people involved with our football program actually be donors and have saved someone's life. So it's a really neat deal.”

Taber named two individuals in the Grizzly Football program who have volunteered and helped save lives.

“It is a real thing,” he said.  Former Grizzly football player Ryan Burke and our running back coach and former student athlete Justin Green was a donor as well, and we're hoping to get more. The last time we did this back in 2019, we had 139 new signups on the University of Montana campus. So that's 139 new people that could potentially save somebody's life, which is a great deal.”

Taber emphasized that just because you’re on the registry doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be asked to donate bone marrow.

“The nice thing about what we're doing this next this next couple of weeks is it's basically just letting people know you're signing up for the registry, you're just signing up to say if you are a match with someone, they're going to contact you and they're going to ask, is this something you want to do? So you're not signing on the dotted line right then and there. You're just putting your name in the pool to potentially save someone's life.”

Click here for more details about Ryan Burke, and here for details about Justin Green.

All who are interested in signing up for the ‘Be the Match Registry’ should be at the University of Montana Oval on April 21 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

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