ST. LOUIS, Mo., July 8, 2019 – For the fourth 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 at Busch Stadium on Saturday, July 13, 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. 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 baseball writers are proud to partner with the St. Louis Cardinals to continue honoring Joe’s legacy by helping others battling leukemia, lymphoma and other blood cancers find marrow donors,” said Senior Manager of Content for MLB.com and former Cardinals beat reporter Jenifer Langosch, who worked with Joe. “Since #Join4Joe began, hundreds of committed donors have been added to the registry and we hope to see the numbers continue to rise so that more lives can be saved.”
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 and have developed a simple registration process via cardinals.com/join4joe to sign up donors all year round.
This year, the event will take place inside Busch Stadium in the Ford Plaza from 4:15- 8:00 p.m. as the Cardinals host the Arizona Diamondbacks in a 6:15 p.m. game that evening. Volunteers will be onsite providing fans with awareness about the mission of Be The Match and assisting those interested in joining the national registry complete the short process, which typically takes about 5-10 minutes.
“While we hope to continue to register a significant number of fans with this event, we also want to help raise awareness about how easy it is for anyone to save a life,” said Michael Hall, Vice President of Community Relations and Executive Director of Cardinals Care. “The process is very easy and non-invasive. A simple cheek swab is all that is needed to join the Be The Match Registry.”
With more than 20 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. More than 14,000 people remain in need of a donor each year. Fans interested in joining the registry at the July 13 event will complete a digital registration process and then swab the inside of their mouth to determine tissue type. Be The Match is specifically looking for donors age 18-44, as research shows that cells from younger donors lead to more successful transplants.
“We are very grateful to both the baseball writers and the St. Louis Cardinals for organizing this drive,” said Aubrie Vargas, Community Engagement Representative for Be The Match. “We encourage everyone to come to Busch Stadium on July 13, cheer on the Cardinals and do their part to register as a committed donor and help save a life.”
Fans can learn more about the #Join4Joe event and join Be The Match by requesting a cheek swab kit anytime at cardinals.com/join4joe. Fans may also join in the conversation with #Join4Joe.