We Are Spartans


MSU Teams hope to score a marrow match for beloved executive AD

Posted at 6:19 AM, Apr 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-25 06:19:19-04

EAST LANSING, Mich. — On Wednesday, at the Rock on the Michigan State University campus, MSU's field hockey and football teams hosted a "Be the Match" bone marrow drive.

They hope to help a beloved member of the sports department staff with this event.

Jim Pignataro, an executive athletic director at MSU, was first diagnosed with a form of non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma called small lymphocytic lymphoma in 2015.

Though he has undergone various treatments, Pignataro will ultimately need a bone marrow transplant.

There is a medical hurdle to overcome in getting the match, Pignataro's DNA is unique.

He's half-Italian, and his mother is both Czechoslovakian and Lithuanian.

The National Bone Marrow Donor Program reports that 70-percent of all patients needing a marrow transplant do not have a fully matched donor in their family.

That means 14,000 patients per year face the dilemma that their only hope for a cure is a transplant from someone outside their family.

This is something Pignataro is facing.

This was the second year this event has been held.

If you could not attend the event, but would like more information on signing up as a potential bone marrow match, you can text 61474 for more details.

The event organizers hope to get 500 individuals to sign up.

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