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Feb. 26, 2003

On Sunday, March 9th from 11:00am-3:00pm the minority bone marrow drive will be held in University Hall. Donors may enter via the North Entrance. Originally scheduled for Saturday, February 15th, the drive was canceled due to inclement weather. Although this drive is specifically targeted at minorities, all ethnicities are encouraged to register and/or donate blood.

Virginia Men’s Basketball Guard Todd Billet organized this event after being involved in the same activity at Rutgers. Billet said that he wanted to start the registration and drive here at UVa to spread awareness about the importance of becoming a bone marrow and blood donor, especially for minority groups.

“For someone with leukemia, their only hope may be a bone marrow transplant, which requires a donor. However, minorities face a limited number of possible bone marrow matches because a relatively low number of minorities register.”

Potential bone marrow donors must be between the ages of 18 and 60 and in general good health. The registration process simply requires a finger-prick to draw 2-3 drops of blood, which is then used for tissue type testing. Your information is then entered into a database and compared to patients in need of a transplant. If a match is made, you will be contacted for further testing to confirm the match.

In order to donate blood, you must be 17 years of age or older, weight at least 110 pounds and be in relatively good health with no serious illnesses. The donation process begins with a 15 minute health check of your blood pressure, temperature, pulse and iron level. Then you can begin donating, which generally takes 15 minutes.

For this event, normal blood donation restrictions do NOT apply!

“We are targeting minorities because they are the largest group in need, but we want everyone to come out to donate and register,” Billet said. “By doing so, you might possibly save someone’s life.”

If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact Todd Billet at

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