5th Annual Drive to be Held Online Starting April 25th in Honor of Longtime Cardinals Beat Writer Joe Strauss
ST. LOUIS, Mo., April 24, 2020– For the fifth consecutive year, the St. Louis Cardinals, in conjunction with the St. Louis Baseball Writers and Be The Match, will host the #Join4Joe marrow donor drive starting April 25th, to add individuals to the Be The Match national registry and increase the chances of finding a donor match for those awaiting a life-saving blood stem cell transplant. Due to the current COVID19 pandemic and the postponement of the 2020 Major League Baseball season, the annual #Join4Joe bone marrow drive is being held online. The Cardinals encourage fans to visit cardinals.com/join4joe to sign up to become a bone marrow donor.
“We are continually inspired by the response we’ve seen from Cardinals fans since launching the #Join4Joe initiative,” said MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch, speaking on behalf of the St. Louis Baseball Writers chapter. “This community has rallied around the Strauss family and has come together to give hope to those who are battling blood cancers. While we all wish we could be out at Busch Stadium this weekend, we do hope that you’ll join us in learning more about the Be The Match mission from the comfort of your home. Each one of us has the potential to be someone’s life-saving match.”
“#Join4Joe is something we have been fortunate enough to host with the Cardinals and St. Louis Baseball Writers the past four years,” said Alexis Strauss, Joe’s daughter. “My dad can never be replaced, but for one day a year, we are able to all get together and remember him while raising awareness for Be The Match. My mom and I still think of my dad every single day, and we are inspired by those who share their stories about participating in the national bone marrow registry. Given these current times we are experiencing as a country, helping others and rallying behind a cause as a community has never been so important.”
The event was organized to honor the legacy of Joe Strauss, who covered the Cardinals for 14 years at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and passed away in December 2015 at the age of 54 after a courageous battle fighting leukemia. The St. Louis Cardinals have agreed to annually partner with the St. Louis baseball writers and Be The Match to sponsor this event in Joe’s name. Through the #Join4Joe drive, nearly 300 potential donors have joined the registry since 2016.
With more than 22 million potential blood stem cell donors, the Be The Match Registry® is the world’s largest and most diverse donor registry. Seventy percent of patients needing a transplant will not have a family member match and therefore rely upon Be The Match to find one. Approximately 12,000 people remain in need of an unrelated donor each year. Be The Match is specifically looking for donors age 18-44, as research shows that cells from younger donors lead to more successful transplants.
“At Be The Match we know how overwhelming and uncertain this present moment can be, but it is also a moment where we see people continue to step up and register to save a life,” said Erica Jensen, SVP of Member Engagement, Enrollment and Experience at Be The Match. “Although many potential donors are homebound at this time – they can still join our movement of hope by registering online. Together we can support patients and honor Joe and his legacy.”
Fans can learn more about the #Join4Joe virtual drive and join Be The Match by requesting a cheek swab kit anytime at cardinals.com/join4joe.
About Be The Match®
For people with life-threatening blood cancers—like leukemia and lymphoma—or other diseases, a cure exists. Be The Match connects patients with their donor match for a life-saving marrow or umbilical cord blood transplant. People can contribute to the cure as a member of the Be The Match Registry®, financial contributor or volunteer. Be The Match provides patients and their families one-on-one support, education, and guidance before, during and after transplant.
Be The Match is operated by the National Marrow Donor Program® (NMDP), a nonprofit organization that matches patients with donors, educates health care professionals and conducts research through its research program, CIBMTR® (Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research®), so more lives can be saved. To learn more about the cure, visit BeTheMatch.org or call 1 (800) MARROW-2.