Geoducks Drive to Save Lives
Geoducks Team Up With Puget Sound Blood Center for Bone Marrow Drive Screening to be Held on February 19 In Conjunction with Cascade Collegiate Conference Doubleheader
OLYMPIA, Wash. – In the fall of 1996, Aaron Foy arrived on the campus of The Evergreen State College excited to take on all opponents while representing the green and white. Since October, Foy has been in the fight of his life as he battles myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and the Geoducks are joining him in the clash against cancer as Evergreen will host a Bone Marrow Registry Drive on February 19, 2011 in conjunction with the final regular season basketball games against Eastern Oregon.
Teaming up with the Puget Sound Blood Center to conduct the drive, Evergreen hopes to not only raise awareness regarding the process of donating bone marrow but help add to the registry as well, particularly for minority patients, who have an even tougher time finding matching donors.
The drive is scheduled to run from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. at in the College Recreation Center (CRC) on The Evergreen State College campus. Staff from PSBC will assist fans in completing the necessary forms to join the registry as well as have the donor complete a cheek swab so that DNA can be entered into the database. Volunteers must be between the ages of 18 to 60 and meet certain health requirements but even if someone cannot register to be a donor, PSBC will be on hand to share other ways that fans can donate to the important cause.
For Foy, the fight began in October 2010 and since then, he has been working with doctors at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance to tackle MDS. Having undergone rigorous chemotherapy since being diagnosed and hospital stays due to a decreased immune system, Foy knows that the fight against this disease is bigger than him.
"Everyone gets involved in these situations because they have a loved one going through it," said Foy. "But at the same time, everyone who is fighting this disease needs help."
Foy was the first recruit in Evergreen men's basketball history, playing three years for the Geoducks, including the first game in program history when Evergreen earned a win over Pacific Lutheran in what Foy described as a rocking CRC Gymnasium.
"It's something to smile about," said Foy when asked about being on the first team in school history. "We started it all. You can't trade those times for anything."
After Evergreen, Foy headed back up to Tacoma, where he grew up before graduating from Stadium High School in 1990 and starting his collegiate basketball career at Tacoma Community College. Working with both the Eastside Boys and Girls Club and the Al Davies Boys and Girls Club, Foy shared his love of basketball with the youth of Tacoma. After moving on to work at Auburn Youth Resources, Foy returned to coaching three years ago, joining the staff of Lincoln High School under Aubrey Shelton, whom Foy coached as a youth at the Boys and Girls Club.
Not to be lost in Foy's cancer fight is his loving family, who has been with him every step of the way as he tackles this devastating disease. Aaron and his wife Carla have four children; son Kashawn (15), daughter Aamori (5) and twins Aamir and Aarmon (16 months).
While Foy is extremely appreciative of Evergreen helping him get the word out regarding his disease and his search for a bone marrow match, he is quick to note that fans shouldn't just be concerned with his fight.
"I want people to come out to help me but if someone else has a need for marrow, don't discriminate," said Foy. "Don't donate just for me, donate for everyone."
For more information regarding the national Be The Match Registry and the need for bone marrow donors, the Puget Sound Blood Center has a webpage at http://www.psbc.org/programs/marrow.htm