The St. Louis Cardinals and the St. Louis Baseball Writers have teamed up to sponsor #Join4Joe, an annual marrow drive to add individuals to the Be The Match Registry. Growing the national marrow registry increases the chances of finding a donor match for cancer patients awaiting a life-saving bone marrow transplant. For the thousands of people diagnosed every year with life-threatening blood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma, a cure exists. Be the Match, operated by the National Marrow Donor Program® (NMDP), has managed the most diverse marrow registry in the world with patients having access to 39 million potential donors in the world. They work every day to save lives through transplant.
#Join4Joe is an annual drive and awareness campaign organized to honor the legacy of Joe Strauss, a gifted journalist and longtime Cardinals beat writer for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch who passed away in December 2015 after a courageous battle against Leukemia.
#Join4Joe's goal is to help others battling leukemia, lymphoma and other blood cancers. Every three minutes, someone is diagnosed with blood cancer, and approximately 12,000 people remain in need of an unrelated donor each year.
The 8th Annual #Join4Joe Drive is Sunday, September 3, 2023
The Cardinals will host the 8h annual #Join4Joe marrow drive at Busch Stadium during the Sunday, September 3 game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Fans can stop by the #Join4Joe/Be the Match table in Ford Plaza on September 3 from the time gates open until one hour into the game for more information. Fans can also request a cheek swab kit anytime by visiting my.bethematch.org/Join4JoeSTL or texting Join4Joe to 61474 and a blue registration link will come right to your phone. Follow the link and register as a donor using the "mail me a kit" option. Their lab will code a unique kit just for you and mail it to your house where you can safely swab and send it back using the paid envelope provided. The kit usually comes within 2-5 days. Be The Match is specifically looking for donors age 18-40, as research shows that cells from younger donors lead to more successful transplants.
Through the #Join4Joe drive, nearly 250 potential donors have joined the registry since 2016.
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Images from 1st Annual Bone Marrow Drive @ Busch Stadium in honor of Joe Strauss that took place on Saturday, August 6, 2016
Be The Match
With more than 38 million potential bone marrow donors, Be The Match is the most diverse donor registry. Since 70% of patients needing a transplant will not have a family member match, the Be The Match registry is often a cancer patient's last hope for a cure. Joining the registry is easy and non-invasive. A simple cheek swab is all that is needed to get someone's sample.
About Joe Strauss
Longtime St. Louis Post-Dispatch sportswriter, Joe Strauss, passed away in December 2015 at the age of 54 after a courageous battle fighting leukemia. Joe served as a Cardinals beat writer and general sports columnist during his 14 years at the newspaper.
Joe was described by his colleague Derrick Goold as "a relentless reporter and fearless writer who earned respect throughout baseball's press boxes and clubhouses for his distinctive voice and incisive coverage of the game."
An award winning writer, Joe spent nearly three decades covering baseball. Joe continued to work after he was diagnosed with cancer. He is survived by his wife, Diana Minardi Strauss, and their daughter Alexis.